Gary Smith

GarySmithCalling criteria for Rapid Response Systems: early warning scores or ‘medical emergency team’ calling criteria?

Amsterdam May 18th 2015

Professor G B Smith, FRCA, FRCP,
Centre of Postgraduate Medical Research & Education (CoPMRE),
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences,
Bournemouth University, Royal London House,
Christchurch Road, Bournemouth,
Dorset BH1 3LT, United Kingdom

Failures by staff to recognise or respond to patient deterioration have led hospitals to use ‘track and trigger’ systems to facilitate improved vital signs monitoring and the calling of expert help to a patient’s bedside. Two main types of ‘track and trigger’ systems exist – early warning scoring systems and Medical Emergency Team (MET) calling criteria. EWS are used almost universally in the UK and have been adopted in some parts of Europe. The MET calling criteria are used in preference to early warning scores in some countries, particularly the USA and Australia.

The ideal ‘track and trigger’ systems for use would have a high sensitivity (the percentage of hospitalised patients whose deterioration is corrected identified by the system) and high specificity (the percentage of hospitalised patients who are correctly identified as not deteriorating by the system). The ability to correctly determine those at risk of deterioration with the minimum workload is therefore important from the point of view of a hospital’s staffing.

This presentation will discuss the two main types of ‘track and trigger’ systems and will compare their performance.


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