Predicting Death

I’ve been teaching evidence-based medicine at the University of Minnesota since 2004. I have a particular interest in evidence-based physical diagnosis; that is, the relative value of history and physical exam data for establishing and excluding disease. This is the realm of pretest probability, likelihood ratios and Bayes’ Theorem.

I reviewed the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) in my December 2017 column in Today’s Hospitalist (where I contribute a numbers-oriented piece every other months). NEWS is a deceptively simple mash-up of vital signs that accurately predicts 24-hour mortality. Low scores—which is where my interest lies—have exceedingly high negative predictive value (translation: very few people with low scores die).

Nerdy footnote: Please check out JAMA’s Rational Clinical Examination and Stephen McGee’s Evidence-Based Physical Diagnosis for more numbers for doctors.

Author: doctorfrenz

I'm a physician specializing in addiction medicine

Leave a Reply