Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Sarah M. I. Cartwright, DNP, MSN-PH, BAM, RN-BC, CAPA, FASPAN

Second Advisor

Michelle K. Seekford, DNP, MPH, FNP-C, COHN-S, CCM


Practice Problem: Urgent care clinics provide care to patients with non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries and are found to be less expensive and more convenient than emergency departments. As urgent care clinics are growing in popularity so are the patient wait times and overall length of stay times.

PICOT: The PICOT question that guided this project was in urgent care clinic patients (P), how does utilizing the Emergency Severity Index (ESI) as a patient triage tool (I) compared to using no patient triage tool (C) affect the patient flow and patient wait times (O) within 13 weeks.

Evidence: Evidence search with applicable inclusion and exclusion material yielded six acceptable articles. The utilization of the Emergency Severity Index (ESI) triage tool decreased patient wait times and overall length of stay times leading to increased patient satisfaction.

Intervention: The ESI triage tool was implemented in the urgent care clinic so that patients were evaluated in a timely manner based on his or her ESI score. Patient wait times, length of stay times, and patient satisfaction scores were recorded.

Outcome: The overall results demonstrated that short length of stay times resulted in improved patient satisfaction scores. In addition, shortened patient to provider times resulted in higher patient satisfaction scores.

Conclusion: A significant impact was obtained in the urgent care clinic by implementing the use of the ESI triage tool. By utilizing the ESI triage tool, patient wait times and length of stay times decreased leading to improved patient satisfaction scores for the clinic.


Scholarly project submitted to the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.