POPS -The Paediatric Observation Priority Score
POPS had a strong showing at the 2015 RCEM Conference
Dr. Damian Roland summarises the work
The first initial results form the large scale review of POPS have been released. POPS looking promising as a safe, and effective, assessment measure
POPS highlighted as useful by external research team
The POPS app is now available at the APP store.
A video explaining the POPS score can be found here.
Important note regarding the use of POPS
The success of the POPS system has led to spread in a number of Emergency Departments around the UK. Please do let us know if you are considering using POPS in your department. Ongoing data for validation is important and we would like to collect this where possible. It is possible that POPS has utility in settings outside of Emergency Departments such as GP Practices and urgent care centres. POPS has not been validated in these settings and should be therefore used with caution. We are looking to undertake trials in this regard and are happy to discuss this with interested parties.
Clinicians in primary care, secondary care and the ambulance service often struggle to identify and prioritise children due to a low incidence of serious illness in the UK, and lack of clear discriminators identifying serious illness. Recent reports from the National Patient Safety Agency and Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Deaths recommend national uptake of a system to identify children who may be seriously unwell.
The Paediatric Observation Priority Score (POPS) is a checklist which quickly scores (between 0-16) acutely ill children on a combination of physiological, behavioural and risk identifiers using easy to collect data. This enables staff (even if inexperienced) to assess, prioritise and treat acutely ill children, and manage risk in busy clinical areas. Aside from the rapid detection of critically unwell children potential cost savings include fewer referrals for hospital treatment (current risk-averse practice results in over-referral), fewer serious adverse events (missed serious illness) and reducing numbers or costs of litigation claims.
POPS has been awarded a Da Vinci Health Technology Award which has enabled an electronic prototype to be developed and has been shortlisted for a Patient Safety award. The amalgamation of POPS into a handheld, tablet or computer based system would enable both interface with NHS systems and also colloborative opportunities throughout the world.
Roland D, Gareth L and Davies F. Addition of a subjective nursing assessment improves specificity of a tool to predict admission of children to hospital from an emergency department. e-Poster at European Paediatric Research Society Newcastle 2011 link to abstract
Roland D, Gareth L and Davies F. Determining the effect of objective and subjective criteria on a risk assessment tool in a paediatric emergency department. Oral Presentation at College of Emergency Medicine Conference (top scoring abstract in APEM group) Gateshead 2011 link to abstract
International Forum of Quality and Safety in Health Care 2013 - Maintaining safety while reducing admission in high risk patient group
Agents for Change Conference - Assisting Safe discharge of potentially high risk patients
College of Emergency Medicine 2010 conference - Developing a Paediatric Observation Priority Score - The challenge of using scoring systems to define hospital admission