Early warning systems

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) cites research indicating that virtually all critical adverse events are preceded by early warning signs. Therefore, ensuring appropriate system supports and resources are in place to recognize clinical deterioration early, and effectively managing timely and appropriate response to patient deterioration are essential for patient safety.

Medical directors may find the following resources useful in implementing an early warning system and when reviewing and updating their non-hospital facility emergency protocols:

  1. The Canadian Patient Safety Institute: Recognizing Deteriorating Patient Condition in a General Care Setting
  2. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement: Early Warning Systems: Scorecards That Save Lives