In the paediatric intensive care unit, measurement poses three problems:
- Assessment: 70 instruments developed for the 4 conditions combined, and the overlap of symptoms increases the mental workload for nurses who have to remember to assess 4 different conditions. When several instruments are available, this can create confusion and nurses have been known to choose the wrong instrument for the wrong condition.
- Once the assessment has taken place, the second challenge is to document it. 1 instrument out of 4 is integrated into the electronic medical record, while the other 3 are on paper. Of the instruments integrated into the electronic medical record, only 12% automatically calculate a score. Calculating scores and remembering to document them in the hectic environment of the PICU therefore represents a workload.
- The third challenge is interpreting the scores. There is a lack of guidance on how to interpret and use the scores and, at present, no instrument has usable score-based EB recommendations.
Alleviate's mission is to develop a simple tool to help relieve unnecessary suffering. It is an electronic tool that combines four previously developed measuring instruments and eliminates overlapping elements. It is patient-centred and relies on continuous communication between nurses, which is a unique feature. It ensures that the right instruments are used for each patient at the right time. An internal scoring algorithm calculates a score for each condition and, based on this score, makes evidence-based management recommendations.