Baseline Characteristics of the Paediatric Observation Priority Score in Emergency Departments outside Its Centre of Derivation

Objectives and Background. Scoring systems in Emergency Departments (EDs) are rarely validated. This study aimed to examine the Paediatric Observation Priority Score (POPS), a method of quantifying patient acuity, in EDs in the United Kingdom, and determine baseline performance characteristics. Methods. POPS was implemented in 4 EDs for children (ages of 0 to 16) with participants grouped into 3 categories: discharged from ED, discharged but with return within 7 days, and admitted for less or more than 24 hours. Results. 3323 participants with POPS scores ranging from 0 to 11 (mean = 2.33) were included. The proportion of each POPS score varied between sites with approximately 10–20% being POPS 0 and 12–25% POPS greater than 4. Odds ratio of readmission with POPS 5–9 against 0–4 was 2.05 (CI 1.20 to 3.52). POPS 0–4 showed no significant difference (p = 0.93) in relation to admission/discharge rates between sites with a significant difference found (p < 0.01) for POPS > 5. Conclusion. It is feasible to implement POPS into EDs with similar performance characteristics to the original site of development. There is now evidence to support a wider health service evaluation to refine and improve the performance of POPS.




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