Validation of the Intensive Care Unit Early Warning Dashboard: Quality Improvement Utilizing a Retrospective Case-Control Evaluation

Michael J. Kavanaugh, Joanne D. So*, Peter J. Park, Konrad L. Davis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Risk stratification with the Modified Early Warning System (MEWS) or electronic cardiac arrest trigger (eCART) has been utilized with ward patients to preemptively identify high-risk patients who might benefit from enhanced monitoring, including early intensive care unit (ICU) transfer. In-hospital mortality from cardiac arrest is ∼80%, making preventative interventions an important focus area. ICUs have lower patient to nurse ratios than wards, resulting in less emphasis on the development of ICU early warning systems. Materials and Methods: Our institution developed an early warning dashboard (EWD) identifying patients who may benefit from earlier interventions. Using the adverse outcomes of cardiac arrest, ICU mortality, and ICU readmissions, a retrospective case-control study was performed using three demographic items (age, diabetes, and morbid obesity) and 24 EWD measured items, including vital signs, laboratory values, ventilator information, and other clinical information, to validate the EWD. Results: Ten statistically significant areas were identified for cardiac arrest and 13 for ICU death. Identified items included heart rate, dialysis, leukocytosis, and lactate. The ICU readmission outcome was compared to controls from both ICU patients and ward patients, and statistical significance was identified for respiratory rate >30. Discussion: With several statistically significant data elements, the EWD parameters have been incorporated into advanced clinical decision algorithms to identify at-risk ICU patients. Conclusion: Earlier identification and treatment of organ failure in the ICU improve outcomes and the EWD can serve as a safety measure for both at-risk in-house patients and also extend critical care expertise through telemedicine to smaller hospitals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-95
Number of pages8
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Military medicine
  • Technology
  • Telehealth
  • Telemedicine
  • Telenursing


Dive into the research topics of 'Validation of the Intensive Care Unit Early Warning Dashboard: Quality Improvement Utilizing a Retrospective Case-Control Evaluation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this