Early Warning System promoted at Identitywa
Identitywa Clinical Nurse, Kerry Deakin, reports…
Early warning systems (EWS) are used mainly in health care systems across the world to assist staff to determine changes in an individual’s health status. They are based on the principle that clinical deterioration can be seen through changes in multiple physiological measurements, as well as large changes within a single variable.
At Identitywa we use a system where objective data is collected by support workers using simple clinical assessment skills which will assist in:
- early detection of changes in an individual’s current health condition
- ongoing monitoring of an individual’s health status
- appropriate communication between support workers and health professionals
EWS relies on the routine recording and charting of the physiological status of the person, however, the frequency of monitoring should be increased if abnormal physiology is observed. These simple observations can be performed by Identitywa staff trained in clinical observation measurement. These observations include the following five elements:
- Respiratory rate
- Blood pressure
- Conscious state (AVPU)
In specific circumstances, additional monitoring should be considered in consultation with the nursing / allied health team.
Once the information is gathered there is a Response Pathway which assists staff in decision making according to the person’s condition. To date, we have had some great feedback from staff indicating that they have initiated frequent monitoring when an individual was unwell and had been able to communicate effectively to health / medical staff to ensure that appropriate, timely assistance was obtained.
The system has been rolled out to staff in all of our houses over the past 18 months and will be an ongoing process as new staff come on board.
Posted in Staff News