Early warning scores are widely used prediction models that are often mandated in daily clinical practice to identify early clinical deterioration in hospital patients. In this paper published in the BMJ, Gerry et al. carried out a systematic review and critical appraisal of early warning scores for adult hospital patients.
The results found that many early warning scores in clinical use had methodological weaknesses.The study's authors concluded that the early warning scores might not perform as well as expected and therefore they could have a detrimental effect on patient care.
“Future work should focus on following recommended approaches for developing and evaluating early warning scores, and investigating the impact and safety of using these scores in clinical practice.”