Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Big data helps quantify what nurses already know

I recently came across this opinion article in the New York Times that suggests when a nurse feels that a patient may be in danger of declining, it's because "working at the bedside has honed nurses’ perceptions to be especially alert to brewing trouble."  The article goes on to say that there's now data to support that nursing assessments "offer crucial information about patient stability."   

The Rothman Index is one such example of a technology that mines the electronic health record looking for patterns in a patient's lab results, vital signs, and nursing assessments, charting them as a graph.  These patterns give a better idea of the patient's overall condition, and not just at any one moment when their "normal" values may make it hard for a nurse to justify a gut feeling that something is amiss.

It will be interesting to see if more hospitals adopt this sort of technology.




Takver from Australia, Evidence based policy after peer review - Melbourne -MarchforScience on -Earthday (34051555122), CC BY-SA 2.0