The National Early Warning Score (NEWS) is a metric used to measure the acuity of a patient illness in a medical setting. Its main purpose is to facilitate early detection of a deterioration in a patients health.
Specific escalations and care pathways are often tied to NEWS results in the form of “triggers” – prompting clinical staff to undertake mandated actions based on the specific results returned from a NEWS observation of a patient. As with the ISBAR mnemonic, NEWS allows for a structured and well understood communication mechanism to be adopted which enables clinicians to communicate more clearly. It also provides a “snap-shot” of patient acuity at the time of recording.
NEWS observations are made by clinical staff based on a set schedule. This schedule is often dictated based on a patients prognosis or acuity score. Thus NEWS can provide a history of a patients progress or deterioration that is very useful to clinicians.
The Ranesys ISBAR Handover tool uses NEWS for patient acuity collection and presentation. Among other uses. the tool uses the acuity scoring to assign a colour code based priority to patients, allowing users to view patients in order of their recorded acuity (and hence “priority”). Please click here to find out more about the tool.