Adv Emerg Nurs J . 2011 Oct-Dec;33(4):322-35. doi: 10.1097/TME.0b013e318233d1c4.



    • 1 Department of Physiological Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, 94143, USA.[email protected]
    • PMID: 22075683
    • DOI: 10.1097/TME.0b013e318233d1c4


    There is a lack of studies examining distinctions between patients assigned to Level 2 (high risk) and Level 3 (lower risk) in the 5-level ESI triage system. Describing patients assigned to Level 2 and Level 3 may identify unique characteristics related to chief complaint, interventions, and resource needs. A convenience sample of triage nurses was recruited from 2 emergency department (ED) sites. If, at the completion of the patient-nurse triage interaction, the nurse assigned the patient to either Level 2 or Level 3, additional clinical data related to that patient were collected from the ED medical record. Eighteen triage nurses participated in the study with 334 nurse-patient triage interactions collected. Patients presenting with a chief complaint of nausea and vomiting or having a medical history of renal insufficiency/failure were significantly more often assigned to Level 2 than to Level 3 (p = 0.036 and p = 0.013, respectively). Patients assigned to Level 2 were more likely to utilize cardiac monitoring, electrocardiogram, medications, and specialty consultation than patients assigned to Level 3. It is critical that nurses in the triage setting be aware of possible patient factors and resource needs that could influence assignment to specific triage levels.

    Publication types

    • Comparative Study
    • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    MeSH terms

    • Adult
    • Cross-Sectional Studies
    • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
    • Female
    • Health Care Rationing*
    • Humans
    • Male
    • Middle Aged
    • Nursing Staff, Hospital*
    • Prospective Studies
    • Severity of Illness Index*
    • Triage / methods*
    What is a Level 2 patient?
    Level 2—High dependency unit (HDU). Patients needing single organ support (excluding mechanical ventilation) such as renal haemofiltration or ionotropes and invasive BP monitoring. They are staffed with one nurse to two patients. more
    What is the normal oxygen level for a heart patient?
    For most people, a normal pulse oximeter reading for your oxygen saturation level is between 95% and 100%. If you have a lung disease such as COPD or pneumonia, your normal oxygen saturation level may be lower. Your healthcare provider will let you know what levels are acceptable. more
    What is a Level 5 ER patient?
    Level 5 – An immediate, significant threat to life or physiologic functioning. more
    What is a Level 1 patient?
    Level 1 (PATIENTS at risk of their condition deteriorating, or those recently relocated from higher levels of care, whose needs can be met on an acute WARD with additional advice and support from the critical care team.) 02. more
    What does a Level 3 patient mean?
    If the problem is worsening, the level of service is likely a level 3 (99213). For established patients coming in with a new problem, these level of service is likely a level 3 (99213) or level 4 (99214). The final level for this patient will depend on the diagnosis and treatment performed during the service. more
    What is the normal PSA level for an elderly patient?
    According to the findings of this study, the normal range of PSA (95th percentile) has increased by age and the values for each age group of the study were determined to be as follows: The normal range of PSA is 4.89 ng/mL for the age group of 60–64 years, 4.88 ng/mL for the age group of 65–69 years, 9.01 ng/mL for the more
    What is established patient level 4?
    Often those quick acute illness visits turn into much longer visits than anticipated due to patient needs. If you spend at least 25 minutes with the patient and more than half of that time was spent in counseling, then you have qualified for a level-IV charge. more
    What is Level 2 patient visit?
    Level 2 Established Office Visit (99212) This is the second lowest level of care for an established patient being seen in the office. Internists used this code for 2.04% of these encounter in 2019. The Medicare allowable reimbursement for this code is $56.88 and it is worth 0.7 work RVUs. more
    What is a Level 5 patient?
    Very sick patients often require level 5 work if they have a high complexity problem such as acute respiratory distress, depression with suicidal ideation, or any new life-threatening illness or severe exacerbation of an existing chronic illness. more
    What is a Level 1 patient?
    Level 1 (PATIENTS at risk of their condition deteriorating, or those recently relocated from higher levels of care, whose needs can be met on an acute WARD with additional advice and support from the critical care team.) 02. more
    What is a Level 3 patient?
    Level-III visits are considered to have a low level of risk. Patient encounters that involve two or more self-limited problems, one stable chronic illness or an acute uncomplicated illness would qualify. more


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