Street Triage

The following is a prioritization process to determine triage of patients seen in the field. Consider several factors and the severity of the emergency to determine what action should be taken: 1) vital signs; 2) patient interview; 3) medical history; 4) physical exam; 5) observed behavior; 6) cognitive function; and 7) grave disability assessment.

Level I:

Emergency call 911

Vital signs and exam indicate the need to call an ambulance for the patient.

Level II:

Urgent Drive to ER

Patient has concerning vital signs and/or symptoms, and the patient can be driven to the emergency room by the Street Medicine Team.

Level III:

Commitment to hospital

Patient cannot meet “basic needs of food and shelter” and is considered gravely disabled; OR patient is posing risk of harm to self or others.  

Level IV:

Office Visit Today

Patient can be seen at the clinic the same day.

Level V:

Street/Field visit

Patient can be treated in the field, with follow-up occurring in the clinic or in the field.

Level VI:

Engagement only

Trust-building conversations are had to lead to future engagement and treatment.

Street triage prioritization process.  Created by Coley King, Deborah Maddis, and Carrie Kowalski.