Vital sign collection based on patient risk for clinical deterioration

Nighttime frequency of vital signs monitoring for low-risk medical inpatients might be reduced, according to a research letter by Jordan C. Yoder, B.A. and colleagues at the University of Chicago.

Overnight vital signs are collected frequently among hospitalized patients regardless of their risk of clinical deterioration and these vital checks may have negative effects on low- such as patient distress and , according to the study.

In total, 54,096 patients were included in the study, accounting for 182,828 patient-days and 1,699 between November 2008 and August 2011. Researchers investigated whether the Modified Early Warning Score (MEWS) could identify low-risk patients who might forgo overnight vital sign monitoring.

The median (midpoint) evening MEWS was 2. The adverse event rate increased with higher evening MEWS. However, the frequency of vital sign disruptions was unchanged, with a median of two vital sign checks per patient per night and at least one disruption from vital sign collection 99.3 percent of the nights regardless of MEWS category. Almost half of all nighttime vital sign disruptions (45 percent) occurred in patients with a MEWS of 1 or less.

"Given these findings, further study of approaches to tailor vital sign collection based on risk of clinical deterioration is warranted and may help improve and safety in hospitals," the study concludes.

More information: JAMA Intern Med. Published online July 1, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.7791

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Excessive ICU noise may harm patients

Oct 22, 2012

New research shows that overnight noise levels in the medical ICU (MICU) often exceed recommended levels, which could potentially lead to worse outcomes.

Recommended for you

What are the chances that your dad isn't your dad?

Apr 16, 2014

How confident are you that the man you call dad is really your biological father? If you believe some of the most commonly-quoted figures, you could be forgiven for not being very confident at all. But how ...

New technology that is revealing the science of chewing

Apr 15, 2014

CSIRO's 3D mastication modelling, demonstrated for the first time in Melbourne today, is starting to provide researchers with new understanding of how to reduce salt, sugar and fat in food products, as well ...

After skin cancer, removable model replaces real ear

Apr 11, 2014

(HealthDay)—During his 10-year struggle with basal cell carcinoma, Henry Fiorentini emerged minus his right ear, and minus the hearing that goes with it. The good news: Today, the 56-year-old IT programmer ...

Italy scraps ban on donor-assisted reproduction

Apr 09, 2014

Italy's Constitutional Court on Wednesday struck down a Catholic Church-backed ban against assisted reproduction with sperm or egg donors that has forced thousands of sterile couples to seek help abroad.

User comments