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UCC team develops new electronic National Early Warning Scorecard

22 Aug 2013

Dr Simon Woodworth, Senior Researcher at the HISRC at UCC, demonstrating the e-NEWS platform to nurses in the AMAU at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny

By Dara Gantly.

Researchers at University College Cork (UCC) have developed an electronic early-warning scorecard to help medical staff identify deteriorating patients, and the system is currently being trialled across a number of acute hospital settings.

The paper-based version of the National Early Warning Scorecard (NEWS) was introduced by the HSE across all acute hospitals in 2011/12 as a patient safety measure, because if deterioration is not identified early enough, there can be a number of serious consequences for patient care along with increased healthcare costs, medical staff workload and greater strain on hospital resources.

The electronic National Early Warning Scorecard (e-NEWS) enables doctors and nurses to undertake a systematic approach to the identification and management of deteriorating patients to improve their outcome. e-NEWS provides a suite of intelligent decision support interfaces, built on a number of mobile platforms, which can integrate signals from remote medical devices such as wireless body area networks and patient sensors developed by the Tyndall National Institute, along with patient devices from Omron, GE Healthcare and Philips.

The new setup will provide healthcare professionals with a more accurate and timely picture of the status of their patients, enabling them to implement clinical care earlier, which will improve patient outcomes and recovery time. It will also ease the workload of nursing and medical staff by automating patient monitoring and reporting in acute settings, its developers stated.

The project is being led by Prof Frédéric Adam and a team of researchers at the Health Information Systems Research Centre (HISRC) at UCC, including Dr John O’Donoghue, Dr Simon Woodworth, Dr Tom O’Kane, Siobhán O’Connor and Fred Creedon.

It has received direct funding from Science Foundation Ireland and the HSE to develop the tablet PC clinical decision support software solution, which is now being tested at St Luke’s General Hospital, Kilkenny, and Nenagh General Hospital, Tipperary.

According to Prof Garry Courtney, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Clinical Director at St Luke’s: “The future now is not in responding to cardiac arrest or crash calls: it is in preventing them.”

22 August 2013

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times