Thousands of hospital deaths could be prevented if doctors and nurses used standardised bed charts, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) said.
Across the UK more than 100 different types of chart are used to record vital information.
But there should be just one system used for all staff who check on patients’ conditions – whether they are in care homes, hospitals or in ambulances, the RCP said.
The College has designed a new chart which it is campaigning to have adopted at all UK hospitals.
As many as 6,000 deaths attributable to miscalculated deterioration of patients’ condition could be prevented once the new system is in place, the RCP said.
The National Early Warning Score (News) would mean that doctors and nurses could easily move from one hospital to the next without having to learn how to read different charts.
The new chart records vital signs such as pulse, temperature and blood pressure, giving them each a score.
The healthcare worker then adds up each patient’s score which indicates the severity of illness and whether the patient needs more urgent care.
Healthcare workers can learn to use the new charts online, the RCN added.