Abstract 9778: Establishing Inter Rater Reliability of the National Early Warning Score (NEWS)
A change in patient condition is a dynamic process which can go unrecognized and result in a failure to rescue. Changes in patients’ vital signs can precede adverse events many hours before critical events such as cardiac arrest or emergent transfer to the Intensive Care Unit occurs.
Quantitative assessment tools are used to predict risk and need for additional resources at the bedside. These tools are referred to as Early Warning Scoring Systems. The Royal College of Physicians developed a standardized tool called the National Early Warning Score (NEWS, 2012) that uses a variety of physiologic parameters to assess risk and establish a trigger threshold for summoning additional resources.
Purpose: Early warning scoring tools have been found to be reliable and accurate in predicting patient decompensation. However, data from instruments are only as reliable and accurate as the caregiver who obtains and documents the parameters. The purpose of this study was to establish inter rater reliability between the RN and PCA using NEWS.
Design, Sample, Setting, Procedures: This study was conducted on the clinical units of a 104 bed Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTCH) system. These units accept patients directly from Intensive Care Units who require intense services to maintain their trajectory toward recovery. The NEWS provides a way for early detection of patient decompensation which can prevent readmission to acute care and the subsequent financial implications
The convenience sample consisted of 22 RNs and 6 PCAs. Consented subjects reviewed an unfolding case study that portrayed a typical patient on the LTCH unit. Subjects were asked to circle the parameter ranges on the NEWS tool that corresponded to physiologic values in the scenario.
Findings: Krippendorff’s alpha was utilized to determine the level of agreement among the raters examining the three scenarios. An alpha value of 0.94 was obtained indicating a high level of agreement among the raters.
Conclusion: The NEWS can serve as a reliable adjunct to the provision of safe patient care. While it is not the sole source for determining
- Early Warning Scoring Systems
- Human variables in completing tools
- National Early Warning Score
- Failure to rescue
- Rapid Response Teams
Author Disclosures: D.M. Miller: Other Research Support; Modest; Organization where research done paid for the IRB application.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.