Need to create escelation system

Anyone know if there is an existing how-to for creating an escalation system for incidents?

I want to basically create a system that promotes the escalation level of tickets based on how long a ticket has been in the system, how long it's been in its current status, which status it has, and various other states.

The idea is to allow our admin to sort by something more useful than chronologically, and to let the system do the work for prioritizing incidents.

Built-in documentation doesn't really cover that sort of thing from start to finish, just how to use a bunch of different configuration pages, and it isn't very apparent how to configure it all together.