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How Vital are Vital Signs?

Vital signs measures of various physiological statistics, often taken by health professional to assess the most basic body functions. Vital signs are an essential part of a case presentation as well as Disease Prevention & Early Detection. The act of taking vital signs normally entails recording body temperature, pulse rate or heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate, but may also include other measurements. Vital signs often vary by age. Other signs are pulse ox or oxygenation levels, pain level, and BMI or body mass index.

Vital signs are used to determine the potential severity of illness and lead the provider to hopefully interpret the data properly to determine the most beneficial treatment plan.

Vital signs can tip the provider that patient is potentially ill when it is not clinically apparent yet. Vital signs can also be used as an anchoring tool to deny how serious the potential illness is.

In addition, vital signs are a monitoring tool to watch if the patient is getting better or worse. Sherlock Holmes and his modern day counterparts- the Infectious disease Consultant can reconstruct most complicated care by using the "slow" deterioration of the vital signs as critical time posts in the identification of the problem.

Vital signs need to be interpreted in the context of the situation. They can be a clue to undiagnosed hypertension. But a single value, the provider must follow up to see if they are consistently real.

Abnormal vital signs need to be rechecked or accounted for in the course of an evaluation. A high percentage of malpractice cases are based on lack of documentation of the repeat vital signs prior to discharge.

As one famous ED physician once said, "Ignore the vitals and nurse's insights at your peril." The astute clinician balances all the data in the complex rubric of medical decision making.

Xpress Technologies Electronic Health Record allows the provider to track the vital signs over time and notifies them when they are abnormal. The system is designed to assist the provider in disease prevention and early detection for over all wellness of your patients.

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