• Scoring systems for quantifying critical illness and predicting outcome are being used increasingly for resource utilization analysis and quality assurance purposes. The history of the development of these systems, the rationale for their use, and the data elements and statistical methods involved in these systems were reviewed. There are obvious advantages of scoring systems for the analysis of large groups of patients. At the same time, there are limitations of such systems in the treatment of individual patients. While improvement and refinement of existing scoring systems is likely to occur with time, these limitations must be kept in mind.
(Arch Surg. 1992;127:352-356)