Validating scales and indexes

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We report the development and validation of a continuous measure of general patient condition that is independent of diagnosis, and that can be used for medical-surgical as well as critical care patients.

A survey of Electronic Medical Record data identified common, frequently collected non-static candidate variables as the basis for a general, continuously updated patient condition score.

In addition to scales, there are two other types of composite measures.

Indexes are similar to scales except multiple indicators of a variable are combined into a single measure.

We then constructed a heuristic model quantifying patient condition (overall risk) by summing the single-variable risks.

The model’s validity was assessed against outcomes from 170,000 medical-surgical and critical care patients, using data from three US hospitals.

The unit of weight is then the weight of a volume of water specified in the basic unit of length, such as 100 cubic centimetres.

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Certain methods of scaling permit estimation of magnitudes on a continuum, while other methods provide only for relative ordering of the entities.

The level of measurement is the type of data that is measured.

Patient condition is a key element in communication between clinicians.

However, there is no generally accepted definition of patient condition that is independent of diagnosis and that spans acuity levels.

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