Triage Quick Reference Guide

Recommended triage method

Page last updated: 21 January 2013

The following diagram illustrates the recommended triage method. An explanation for each step in the diagram can be found further down this page.

The image shows the recommended triage method in seven steps, which are explained in the following text..

The recommended triage method is comprised of the following steps.

Step 1: Patient presents for triage.
Safety hazards are considered above all.

Proceed to Step 2

Step 2: Assess the following:

  • Chief complaint
  • General appearance
  • Airway
  • Breathing
  • Circulation
  • Disability
  • Environment
  • Limited history
  • Comorbidities

Once the above assessment is completed, proceed to:

Quick evaluation. Is the patient stable?

If the patient is stable, proceed to Step 3. If the patient is unstable, proceed to Step 5.

Step 3: Differentiate predictors of poor outcome from other data collected during the triage assessment

Proceed to Step 4.

Step 4: Identify patients who have evidence of or are of high risk of physiological instability.

Proceed to Step 5.

Step 5: Assign an appropriate ATS category in response to clinical assessment data.

Proceed to Step 6.

Step 6: Allocate staff to patient including brief handover to allocated staff member/s.

Proceed to Step 7.

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Step 7: ED model of care proceeds.