Changing trends in patients’ vital signs data can indicate clinical deterioration, which, without identification and intervention, can lead to adverse consequences or death [ 3 , 4 ].
Rapid response systems (RRSs) enable escalation of care to a medical emergency team (MET) when patients’ vital signs breach accepted thresholds.
Yet, recent research shows that the monitoring and recording of the five vital signs is often incomplete which poses the potential to miss deterioration [ 9 ].
The patient casemix on general wards has changed over recent decades, with patients now older, more acutely ill, experiencing more co-morbidities and facing complex procedures [ 10–12 ].
As part of a larger project aimed at improving safety through timely recognition of deterioration, this study conducted a formative evaluation to assess perceptions of the implementation of continuous monitoring devices on general wards.
Formative evaluation in the early stages of technology implementation projects has been advocated as means to inform feasibility, provide opportunities for iterative assessments of intervention viability, guide the development and refinement of interventions, and characterize success factors in the quest to optimize patient safety [ 15 , 16 ].
Continuous monitoring technologies are a more proactive approach to the early detection of patient deterioration and have been reported as potentially enhancing early identification of deteriorating patients [ 14 ].
There is limited research, however, that assesses clinical staff perceptions regarding patient monitoring and the potential impact of continuous monitoring on practices.
Early detection of patient deterioration and prevention of adverse events are key challenges to patient safety.
This study investigated clinical staff perceptions of current monitoring practices and the planned introduction of continuous monitoring devices on general wards.