Adoption of an Electronic Observation Chart With an Integrated Early Warning Scoring System on Pilot Wards: A Descriptive Report.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



The charting of physiological variables in hospital inpatients allows for recognition and treatment of deteriorating patients. The use of electronic records to capture patients' vital signs is still in its infancy in the United Kingdom. The main objective of this article was to describe the adoption of an electronic observation charting function integrated into an established bedside e-prescribing record system on acute wards in a large English university hospital. This new function also has the capability of contacting Critical Care Outreach and clinical staff when patients deteriorate. Data captured over a 4-month period from the pilot wards showed that 80% of observation sets were completed sufficiently to produce early warning scores over the time period. A daily average of 419 Standardized Early Warning Score produced 74 alerts to clinical staff, and two critical alarms per day were e-mailed to the Outreach team. The wards showed different levels of completeness of observations (from 69% to 92%). Although a good overall rate of completeness of physiological data was found, traditional gaps in observation recording documented in the literature (eg, recording of respiratory rate) were still apparent. This system can be used for audit for targeted staff education and to evaluate the Critical Care Outreach service.


Original languageEnglish
JournalComputers, informatics, nursing : CIN
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2012