REF2014 Impact Case Study: Clinical outcome modelling saves lives

Impact: Health & Welfare Impacts, Economic & Commercial Impacts

Description of impact

University of Portsmouth health informatics research on clinical outcome modelling has influenced the Royal College of Physicians' (RCP) new standard for the assessment of the severity of acute illness (known as the "National Early Warning Score" or NEWS). This has the potential to save thousands of lives per year. Our work is incorporated in the VitalPAC system developed by The Learning Clinic Ltd (TLC), and currently deployed to more than 20 hospitals.

Who is affected

NHS bodies; Hospitals; Patients


VitalPAC replaces the typical paper chart at the foot of a hospital patient's bed by recording (electronically on a mobile device) the vital signs measurements, typically taken by a nurse every few hours. ViEWS/NEWS translates the vital sign measurements into a single number known as an early warning score (EWS). In 2012, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) published a report recommending adoption across the NHS of a new National Early Warning Score (NEWS) for monitoring patients in hospital.
Since introducing VitalPAC, initial findings are that hospitals have seen fewer unanticipated intensive care unit admissions, shorter lengths of stay and (in one hospital) a 22% decrease in seasonally-adjusted mortality. The economic benefits to TLC included increased turnover (13-fold over 3 years), created 15 new jobs, and allowed them to attract over £1m from private investors.
Impact statusOpen
Category of impactHealth & Welfare Impacts, Economic & Commercial Impacts
Impact levelBenefit (delivered impact)


  • health informatics


  • REF2014