King's College London

Research portal

Managing deterioration in older adults in care homes: A quality improvement project to introduce an early warning tool

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sarah Little, Geraldine Rodgers, Joanne M. Fitzpatrick

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-66
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Community Nursing
Issue number2
Early online date30 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2019

King's Authors


Many older adults living in care homes have complex health needs requiring comprehensive care. Early warning tools can help identify deterioration, but currently they are less often used in care homes. The aim of this quality improvement project was to introduce an early warning tool, the Significant 7, to facilitate identification and management of deterioration in care home residents. The plan, do, study, act (PDSA) method was used, and process mapping informed a tailored intervention. Introducing the tool had positive outcomes for residents and care staff. There was a reduction in the incidence of pressure ulcers and falls, and care staff were more confident in recognising resident deterioration. Next steps include scaling up the project to further examine how this early warning tool can improve resident, staff and organisational outcomes, in order to explore the potential use of the tool by community nurses with older people living at home.

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454