[ Neo Home | New | Clinical | Computers | Jobs | Diversions | Links ]

Title A randomized, controlled trial of computerized physiologic trend monitoring in an intensive care unit
Author(s) Cunningham S, Deere S, Symon A, Elton RA, McIntosh N
Source Crit Care Med, Vol. 26, No. 12, Pages 2053-2060
Publication Date Dec. 1998
Abstract OBJECTIVE: To assess whether the provision of computerized physiologic trend data could improve outcome in newborn infants requiring intensive care. DESIGN: Randomized, controlled trial, with subsidiary questionnaire studies. SETTING: Tertiary neonatal intensive care unit with 12 intensive care cots. PATIENTS: All infants admitted between January 1991 and September 1993 who were < or =32 wks gestation or >32 wks gestation, and ventilated for >4 hrs or asphyxiated. INTERVENTIONS: Randomization to one of four groups for first 7 days of life: A) no display of trend data; B) continuous display of trend data; C1) alternating 24-hr display of trend data, starting with display in first 24 hrs; and C2) alternating 24-hr display of trend data, starting with no display in first 24 hrs. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The short-term effects of monitoring on patient outcome was judged by volume of colloid given, number of blood gases taken, and by measurement taken from cranial Doppler ultrasound. Medium-term measures included time ventilated, time given supplemental oxygen, death, time to death or discharge, and cranial ultrasound at discharge. Long-term outcome was assessed by neurodevelopmental status at age 1 to 4 yrs of age. Staff and parent questionnaires assessed their respective attitudes to the introduction of this technology. None of the patient outcome measures, short-, medium-, or long-term, demonstrated any significant benefit from the provision of computerized physiologic trend monitoring. Staff questionnaires demonstrated an acceptance of the system and an improved understanding of neonatal physiology as a result of computerized physiologic trends. Parent questionnaires demonstrated increased anxiety caused by the system in 11% of parents, although only 1% of parents continued to have concerns if the system were able to help their child. CONCLUSIONS: A randomized, controlled trial was unable to demonstrate any benefit to patients resulting from the introduction of a computerized physiologic trend monitoring system. Benefits of the system have been recognized, however, in subsidiary studies, staff education, and research studies.


Return to Citation Index Page

This page was last modified on 04-25-1999.
Citation database was last rebuilt on 02-27-2011.
Neonatology on the Web / webmaster@neonatology.org