Ireland first with early-warning medical system

Ireland has become the first country in the world to introduce an early warning system across the entire hospital system to help medics recognise and respond to patients whose condition is worsening.

The system, which will apply in every hospital in the country, will see patients monitored on a continuous basis, with clear guidelines on the actions to be taken if their condition deteriorates.

Hospital managers will be required to submit an annual statement to the Health Minister to update him on the progress being made in implementing the new system.

Minister James Reilly said the guidelines were a recognised method of improving health care.

"(These scoring systems) have been shown to improve outcomes. The first for Ireland is that this is now nationally mandated uniformly across the system so that everyone can understand and benefit from it," he said.

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