The Validity of a Nursing Assessment and Monitoring of Signs and Symptoms Scale in ICU and Non-Icu Patients

Published in: American Journal of Critical Care, v. 5, no. 4, July 1996, p. 298-303

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1996

by Betty L. Chang, Lisa V. Rubenstein, Emmett B. Keeler, Lisa N. Miura, Katherine L. Kahn

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PURPOSE: This study examined the validity of medical-record-based nursing assessment and monitoring of signs and symptoms (nursing surveillance) in predicting patients who were admitted to ICUs and those admitted to non-ICUs. The association of this assessment and monitoring with differences in an intermediate patient outcome, instability at discharge, was also explored. Patients admitted to either setting with a diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident, congestive heart failure, or pneumonia, were included in the study. METHOD: A secondary analysis was carried out using a subset of data originally collected for a quality-of-care study. Data from the medical records of 11,246 patients (52% female, 48% male) with a mean age of 76.4 years were used in the present study. RESULTS: ICU patients (n = 3969) were found to have a longer length of stay and to be sicker on admission than non-ICU patients (n = 7277). Overall, patients in the ICU received significantly higher nursing assessment and monitoring of signs and symptoms scores than non-ICU patients. Nursing assessment and monitoring of signs and symptoms scores were lower for patients discharged with greater instability for three of the four diseases (cerebrovascular accidents, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia).

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