Bangor Mail - - NEWS -

A PI­O­NEER­ING early warn­ing sys­tem on wards at Ys­byty Gwynedd is help­ing to save the lives of pa­tients.

The elec­tronic sys­tem alerts nurses and doc­tors to sud­den changes in a pa­tient’s con­di­tion by mon­i­tor­ing their vi­tal signs, such as heart and res­pi­ra­tory rates.

The sys­tem is be­ing tri­alled across two wards at Ys­byty Gwynedd and has been de­vel­oped from the Na­tional Early Warn­ing Score (NEWS), which was brought in across Wales in 2012 to as­sess whether pa­tients are de­vel­op­ing po­ten­tially life-threat­en­ing ill­nesses.

Staff mea­sure a pa­tient’s vi­tal signs against the NEWS card be­fore giv­ing them a score, which is now au­to­mat­i­cally cap­tured and dis­played on the large plasma screen on the ward.

If the pa­tient’s score rises, it prompts staff to in­ter­vene and the sys­tem will also page rapid re­sponse teams in the most se­ri­ous cases.

Consultant Physi­cian Dr Chris Subbe, co-author of the VI­TAL II study, said: “The VI­TAL II study is a study we un­der­took with Philips Health­care. The con­tact came af­ter Phillips started us­ing an al­go­rithm that we de­vel­oped in 2000 which is called an ‘early warn­ing score’. They be­gan to be­come very in­ter­ested in how they could put that into the mon­i­tor­ing that they are de­vel­op­ing.”

“Pa­tients and fam­i­lies prob­a­bly no­tice very lit­tle.

“The sys­tem uses our nor­mal work­flows so it meant we didn’t have to do that much ex­tra train­ing and the nurses and doc­tors are us­ing it the same way they would nor­mally use it.

“It doesn’t make much dif­fer­ence to the way pa­tients are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing care but, in the back­ground, we are able to de­liver much more re­li­able treat­ment.”

Consultant Physi­cian Dr Chris Subbe, co-author of the VI­TAL II study

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