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iSEND is a service evaluation designed to evaluate the effects of implementing a new electronic vital signs system in the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

An Early Warning Score is a clinical risk score based upon vital signs intended to aid recognition of patients in need of urgent medical attention. The use of an escalation of care policy based upon an Early Warning Score is mandated as the standard of practice in British hospitals. Electronic systems for recording vital sign observations and Early Warning Score calculation offer theoretical benefits over paper-based systems. However, the evidence for their clinical benefit is limited.

This study aims to examine how the implementation of an electronic early warning score system, System for Notification and Documentation (SEND), affects the recognition of clinical deterioration occurring in hospitalised adult patients.

This study is a non-randomised stepped wedge evaluation carried out across the four hospitals of the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, comparing charting on paper and charting using SEND. 

The primary outcome measure is the time between a patient’s first observations set with an Early Warning Score above the alerting threshold and their subsequent set of observations. Secondary outcome measures include in-hospital mortality, cardiac arrest and Intensive Care admission rates, hospital length of stay and system usability measured using the System Usability Scale. 

The iSEND protocol has been published in Medical Informatics and Decision Making