Patent number 8510126 is assigned to The Regents of the
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The quality of health care is constantly evolving and improving as new less invasive surgical techniques, more effective medications, and better methods of treatment are constantly being discovered and invented. Improvements in health care have also occurred through better use and management of patient information. One such use has allowed medical personnel to reliably predict future probable conditions of a patient through trend analysis of the patient's information. Trends within various patient vital signs (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, etc.) have been shown to reliably indicate future medical conditions or complications.
"Attempts have been made to create a standard or objective way to measure trends in a patient's condition by quantifying the results of such trends into one or more 'severity scores'. Severity scores are usually developed by combined efforts from multiple healthcare organizations. Such efforts have the primary aim of quantifying patient illness such that mortality of an organization can be adjusted by considering the expected survival rate based on these severity scores as well as providing a reliable prognosis of probable changes in the condition of the patient. The severity scores thus assist in providing a quicker response to treat any such changes.
"To be an objective measure requires that severity scores should be defined using patient information that may include laboratory test results, vital signs, etc. To achieve consistent scoring requires that definitions of severity scores should be clearly specified so that the processes used in the mapping of the vital signs to the severity score are enumerated.
"Many studies have been done on validating existing severity scoring metrics. Severity scores such as Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Examination (APACHE) and Simplified Acute Physiology Score (SAPS) have been well known for purposes including mortality prediction and patient stratification. Other scores, such as the Modified Early Warning Score (MEWS), have been proposed for early detection of patient deterioration and have been validated in several pilot studies. However, the impact of these severity scores into daily clinical practice remains elusive because these severity scores have not been widely accepted and integrated into typical workflows of patient care for possible reasons including lack of an automated scoring system, ambiguities in terms of specification of data collection protocol for scoring, and lack of studies of applying severity scores to individual patients. More specifically, the barriers to the adoption of such severity scores include insufficient data gathering, time alignment issues resulting from inconsistent data gathering, and improper data processing (e.g., aggregation and unit conversion) as some examples.
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