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March 13, 2018

Early Warning Systems for Hospitalized Pediatric Patients

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
  • 2Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York
JAMA. 2018;319(10):981-982. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.1524

Physicians and other health care practitioners have been hopeful that computerized early warning systems (using data elements gleaned from the hospital’s electronic medical record, bedside vital signs, or both, in conjunction with enhanced education, monitoring, and response) would aid in identifying patients at risk of clinical deterioration prior to bedside recognition by clinicians.1 The ultimate goal for early warning systems is a rapid clinical response to the patient’s newly identified needs with demonstrable improvements in both the processes of care and patient outcomes. An early warning system is necessary because clinicians are limited in their abilities to absorb, process, apply diagnostic testing, and implement therapeutic plans with all the big data inherent in the current inpatient setting.