Appendix 5: Matrix of out-of-hospital/EMS tasks by patient acuity

Note: This matrix is not intended as a chronological listing of tasks but rather recognizes that the patient's acuity level is essential for identifying priorities for care and guiding on-scene decision making as well. Task elements and definitions are enumerated in Appendix 4.


Patient Acuity



Lower Acuity

  • Operational readiness
  • Scene management
  • Pre-arrival care
  • Primary assessment/emergency stabilization
  • Secondary assessment
  • Modifying factors
  • Professional issues
  • Assessment tools & adjuncts
  • Differential diagnosis/field impression
  • Therapeutic interventions
  • Reassessment
  • Communication & consultation
  • Disposition
  • Documentation
  • Multitasking & team management
  • Prevention & education