NewsCap: Less frequent nighttime vital signs monitoring in low-risk patients
Less frequent nighttime vital signs monitoring in low-risk patients. About half of vital signs taken at night are in hospitalized patients at very low risk for complications, finds a three-year study. Modified Early Warning Scores (MEWS) were taken before 11 pm in 54,096 patients; follow-up showed that the subset of patients with very low MEWS had a low risk of complications, suggesting that they could be monitored less frequently at night, which could improve patients’ sleep quality, lower their blood pressure, and decrease the risk of delirium. Fewer checks of nighttime vital signs could also free nurses to monitor high-risk patients more closely. Alternatively, cutting nighttime checks could allow for reductions in nursing staff, thereby cutting costs, the authors suggest in JAMA Internal Medicine (published online, July 1).© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved.