Following a request from the Department of Health, the Health Information and Quality Authority agreed to undertake a health technology assessment (HTA) of information technology (IT) solutions for early warning and clinical handover systems for Ireland. The assessment was completed and submitted as advice to the Minister for Health for consideration.
HTA of IT for Early Warning
The purpose of this HTA was to examine the examined the evidence of the clinical and cost-effectiveness of different electronic early warning and clinical handover systems to inform decision making regarding their implementation).
Failure to identify the acutely deteriorating patient is considered a major cause of avoidable morbidity and mortality. A range of information and communications technology (ICT) options are available to support detection of the deteriorating patient and to facilitate clinical handover of patients. These have been shown to be an efficient, accurate and auditable way of recording patient vital sign parameters in other countries. However, if used, these tools need to be appropriately integrated into the existing care setting and adequately resourced.
This assessment examined the evidence of the clinical and cost-effectiveness of different electronic early warning and clinical handover systems to inform decision making regarding their implementation. It comprised a systematic review and critical appraisal of the evidence on the use of IT solutions to assist in the identification of the deteriorating patient. The likely costs and benefits were also estimated and the key determinants of effective systems identified.