Early Warning Scoring

What is
Early Warning Scoring?

An Early Warning Scoring (EWS) system monitors and analyzes vital signs to quickly spot patient deterioration, then notifies caregivers and rapid response teams of clinical instability. This leads to early intervention, thereby helping to prevent critical events before they happen.


With an automated EWS system, hospital staff benefit from smoother workflow, streamlined communications and a reduction in human error.


Spot subtle signs of patient deterioration quickly


Almost half of unanticipated hospital deaths happen on the general ward*. So how do busy care providers know which patients to watch more closely? Early Warning Scoring can help, but manual calculations take time. Philips IntelliVue Guardian Solution automates Early Warning Scoring (EWS) with the goal of improving the effectiveness of your Rapid Response Teams.


Put time on your side

By automatically acquiring vital signs, Philips IntelliVue Guardian can help to identify early patient deterioration, often hours before an adverse event. Customized to your own escalation protocols, the system provides a standardized view of key parameters. Deviations are noted, re-verified and immediately passed to appropriate responders.


More and more hospitals are seeking to implement Early Warning Scoring as an adjunct to their Rapid Response Teams. Philips IntelliVue Guardian gives you an advantage by leveraging the value of objective, actionable Early Warning Scoring to help improve patient outcomes.

Early warning scoring takes many forms


Acceptance of early warning scoring (EWS) has spawned a wide variety of related acronyms including MEWS, NEWS, PEWS, and more. What do they all mean?


EWS is based on the physiologic assessment of multiple vital signs. Resulting observations are compared to a ‘normal range’ to generate a single composite score. This is done either manually, or automatically (i.e. Philips Guardian). An increasing score produces an escalated response – from increased observation, to rapid response. It is how this process is ‘modified’ to address the requirements of a specific patient/application type that results in the unique nomenclature.

MEWS – Modified Early Warning Scoring is just that – an EWS system whose parameters have been customized to suit the requirements of a particular institution and the patients they serve. A further segmentation of MEWS adapts EWS to specific purposes. Following is a partial list:

Early Warning Scoring infographic


Learn how automated Early Warning Scoring (EWS) can aid in identifying  patient deterioration when there’s still time to make a difference.

1 Rutherford P, Lee B, Greiner A. Transforming Care at the Bedside. IHI Innovation Series white paper. Boston: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; 2004.(Available on www.IHI.org)