Background Use of early warning system scores and track and trigger charts is widespread in adult and paediatric hospitalised patients. Its use in neonatal group is not well recognised. Lack of well established normal ranges for biophysical variables in preterm/term neonates illustrate difficulties in establishing a scoring system that can potentially be used on the neonatal units (NNU) and postnatal wards (PNW). We have recently developed NOTT chart for use in newborn babies on PNW.
Aim To validate NOTT chart in order to enable early identification of neonates in need of urgent medical assessment and intervention.
Methods A service evaluation was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of NOTT chart. All admissions from PNW to NNU (Feb–Aug 2013) were evaluated. Notes of all babies on PNW (2 weeks duration in Nov 2013) were also reviewed.
Results There were 24 NNU admissions from PNW between Feb–Aug 2013. Sensitivity of NOTT chart’s ‘medium’ and ‘high’ score was 96% (22/23). Charts of 42 babies on PNW were examined in Nov 2013. 7/42 babies scored ‘medium’ or ‘high’ out of which, 3 were admitted to NNU. Specificity of NOTT chart was 90%. Positive and negative predictive value was 43% and 100% respectively.
Conclusions NOTT is an effective screening tool to identify any deterioration in the condition of a new born so prompt and timely assessment and medical intervention could be carried out. It is a useful tool for information sharing and provides a one stop solution for unifying all neonatal observations on PNW.