Variation in health care providers’ perceptions: Decision making based on patient vital signs

Atieh Zarabzadeh, John O’donoghue, Yvonne O’connor, Tom O’kane, Simon Woodworth, Joe Gallagher, Siobhán O’connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinical decision making plays an imperative role when delivering healthcare services. To assist healthcare practitioners in decision making activities, Early Warning Scorecards (EWS) have been developed to classify patients based on their vital sign readings. This paper aims to evaluate the variation among healthcare practitioners’ perceptions of vital signs critical ranges and priorities, and if there is a variation between decisions made based on paper-based Modified EWS (MEWS) and electronic MEWS. A survey is conducted to analyse these variations for six vital sign parameters. Further investigation is carried out on the variations in decisions made for six simulated patients using the paper-based MEWS and eMEWS. Thus, the variations of decisions made for a given patient among the survey participants are analysed in light of paper-based MEWS and eMEWS. Therefore, this paper contributes to both theory and practice by identifying variations in health care providers’ perceptions when deciding the actions/treatment of patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-189
JournalJournal of Decision Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013


  • Modified Early Warning Scorecard (MEWS)
  • electronic Modified Early Warning Scorecard (eMEWS)
  • Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS)
  • perception


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