Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

THE BIG QUESTION

The big question: does healthcare rely too heavily on assessment tools and not enough on clinical judgement?

  • 6 Comments

A recent study found pressure ulcers in intensive care patients may have been either over- or undertreated because a widely used tool may not be sensitive enough for critical care.

Reviewing the records of 7,790 ICU patients, researchers at the Ohio State University concluded the Braden scale was not accurate when it came to evaluating ICU patients.

 “The scale told us that every single patient in the ICU was at high risk for a pressure ulcer. But we knew that not every single patient went on to get an ulcer,” said Brenda Vermillion, a clinical nurse specialist who participated in the study.

Is there too much reliance on ticking boxes rather than clinical judgement?

  • 6 Comments

Readers' comments (6)

  • Yes. Tools are tools not prophetic certainties. For guidance of the wise only.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • only as good as those using them!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I remember someone saying that assessment tools are like a sat-nav – you still need to be able to drive. Sums it up nicely!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Observation and communication are key to assessing patients

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Sarah Christie | 14-Apr-2014 5:30 pm

    excellent analogy. think of the number of people who have ended up in rivers or over a cliff!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • bob cat

    How about when clinical pathways are absolutely reliant on tools, and I'm thinking of the Wells score particularly?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.