Early detection of deteriorating by nursing staff improves COVID-19 patient recovery

  • A study finds that systematized nursing surveillance through the VIDA system, developed by the Catalan Institute of Health and IDIBELL, can detect and prevent complications, transfers to the ICU, and intra-hospital mortality.
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The Acute Deterioration Surveillance and Identification (VIDA, from Catalan acronym) system contains an algorithm adapted to each hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health (ICS). This project, developed and led by Maria Eulalia Juvé, group leader at IDIBELL and deputy hospital at the ICS Care Department, early identifies the risk of acute deterioration through a scoring system and a decision algorithm resulting from the patient monitoring. This system was first implemented in 2013 and is currently used to assist in the clinical decision at the 8 ICS hospitals.

Now, the Nursing Research Group (GRIN) of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) has published a study in the journal BMJ Open. This study aimed to determine the association between the risk of acute deterioration, care complexity factors, and adverse outcomes in patients admitted for COVID-19. The results show that it is possible to detect more quickly complications in the health status of patients with the surveillance system. This early detection avoids transfers to intensive care units (ICU) and reduces intra-hospital mortality or other complications. This is a multicenter cohort study among the adult population admitted by COVID-19 to seven hospitals in Catalonia.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “patients hospitalized with COVID-19 require regular monitoring of vital signs and, when it is possible, use alert systems that facilitate early recognition and intensify treatment in the case of patient deterioration “. Thus, early warning systems have become an important component of hospital care management and are a good clinical tool for stratification and decision support. As Jordi Adamuz, an IDIBELL researcher and nurse at Bellvitge Hospital, explains, “the study has shown that not only the VIDA system is able to detect patients with more preventable complications, but also helps to reduce intra-hospital mortality.”



The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).

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