PeraHealth Insights

The Effectiveness of “Track and Trigger” Systems

Woman Using a TabletHealthcare teams are becoming curious in whether or not implementing a “Track and Trigger” System promotes positive patient outcomes with deteriorating patient conditions. As the era of technology advances the electronic medical record will continue to collect massive amounts of robust clinical data. Healthcare teams will be introduced to innovative tools that assist in organizing large amounts of data. “Track and Trigger” Systems are tools that provide opportunities in promoting positive patient outcomes if managed and sustained correctly. These systems are circulating globally and in some parts of the world are standardized in practice. It is important to stress that these tools are not a replacement for clinical judgment or expertise. If automated, they serve as a real-time predictive warning system for decision support at the bedside.

A “Track and Trigger” System can assist in recognition, interpretation, and responsiveness to patient deterioration. Researchers have found that patients exhibit physiological changes 8 to 12 hours prior to a serious life-threatening event. The initial stages of physiologic deterioration during illness and recovery can be subtle due to homeostatic compensatory mechanisms. Evidence shows that these subtle changes go undetected or not acted on in a timely manner because healthcare teams fail to recognize, interpret, and respond. This is a major cause for increased admissions to higher levels of care, increased length of stay, cardiac/respiratory arrest, or death. Evidence-based practice supports implementing a “Track and Trigger” System for timely intervention.

A “Track and Trigger” System is not a static application, it needs continuous support in order for it to provide the most accurate output for decision support. Applying a Sustainability Practice Model during the life-cycle of the application provides structure and focus to key elements such as; application management, addressing constant change, creating awareness, increasing knowledge, addressing barriers, and triggering timely intervention.

Join me on August 24th as I explain “track and trigger” systems, how effective they are and how to make them sustainable.