Feighan says Roscommon Hospital leads the way with world-first patient safety initiative

20th February 2013 - Daniel Rowan

Roscommon/South Leitrim Fine Gael TD, Deputy Frank Feighan, has said Roscommon Hospital is leading the way with a world-first patient safety initiative which helps medical personnel recognise and respond to patients whose condition is worsening.

“While the National Early Warning Score system, as it is called, was formally launched by Health Minister James Reilly this week for all hospitals in the country, Roscommon Hospital became the first hospital in Ireland to introduce this system almost two years ago.

“The system monitors patients on a continuous basis, with clear guidelines on the actions to be taken if their condition deteriorates. It involves a bedside score and ‘track and trigger’ system calculated by clinical staff from the observations taken, to indicate early signs of deterioration of a patient’s condition.

“Recent evidence has identified that a systematic approach to early detection and management of patients whose condition deteriorates improves outcomes for patients. The National Early Warning Score system now means there is a standardised approach to safe, more efficient and effective quality care for patients.

“Staff at Roscommon Hospital must be credited for fully implementing this system, which is now being rolled out in every hospital across the country. Ireland is the first known country in the world to agree to a National Early Warning Score system and these National Guidelines have been designed for adult acute patients, based on international evidence of what is known to work best.

“As the Minister for Health has said, the implementation of the National Early Warning Score system is now a priority for the Irish health system. The guidelines were developed through the collaborative work of frontline clinical staff, patient groups and key patient safety experts led by the Acute Medicine Programme of the HSE.

“The Early Warning Score system is a significant safety and quality initiative for patients but it must be emphasised that it does not replace clinical judgement of experienced staff where care can be escalated  if they have concerns about a patient.”

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