Press Release
Peer-Review: Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC’s Electronic Surveillance Framework Could Significantly Reduce False-Positive Diagnoses

Research finds Pediatric Rothman Index favorable for alerting clinicians to the need for rapid response team intervention

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 15, 2015) – Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC’s electronic surveillance framework for hospitalized kids could significantly reduce false-positive identification of serious health conditions, according to peer-reviewed research in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine.

The retrospective study of 16,239 Children’s Hospital pediatric admissions between January 2006 and December 2013 compared the use of vital signs, a common indicator of patient condition, to that of PeraHealth’s Pediatric Rothman Index (pRI) – a patient condition score using an algorithm comprised of vital signs, lab tests and nurse assessments (skin issues, mental state) – to identify patients requiring urgent intervention with pediatric ICU transfer.

The research, conducted by Children’s Hospital clinicians, found that use of vital signs alone led to false-positive identification of serious events almost half of the time (46 percent). The pRI had a false-positive rate of just 1 percent.

“Many symptoms of serious pediatric conditions are also found in common conditions that do not require immediate intervention, and vital signs alone cannot discriminate between the two situations,” said Robert Clark, M.D., chief of pediatric critical care medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. “Our research found the Pediatric Rothman Index to be a favorable electronic trigger for alerting clinicians to the need for rapid response teams, complementing the efforts of our nurses and physicians.”

The Joint Commission estimates that 85 to 99 percent of alarms in hospitals do not require clinician intervention. This can lead to alarm fatigue and other alarm hazards, which the ECRI Institute found to be the number one patient safety concern for 2015.

“False-positive alarms cause anxiety for care teams, patients and families, and can lead to clinicians becoming desensitized to true patient emergencies while placing pressure on already constrained hospital resources,” said PeraHealth Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer Michael J. Rothman, Ph.D. “Having a surveillance system that reliably alerts care teams to the need for emergency intervention is essential to helping clinicians provide the right care to the right patients at the right time.”

Powered by the peer-reviewed Rothman Index™, a disease-agnostic universal score for predicting patient readmission and mortality risk, PeraHealth software automatically pulls data from any major electronic health record (EHR) in real-time. The data is translated into a 0-100 Rothman Index score and presented in color-coded graphs trending patient condition across any care setting, promoting care team communication across shifts and alerting clinicians earlier to unexpected health problems.

About PeraHealth

PeraHealth is transforming healthcare through the intelligent use of data. By leveraging the Rothman Index, a validated patient acuity score, PeraHealth software solutions enable healthcare providers to identify at-risk patients sooner for earlier intervention. Leading hospitals and health systems utilize PeraHealth’s real-time, predictive analytics to improve quality and reduce costs. Clinical results include lowering mortality rates as much as 30%. For more information, visit and @PeraHealth.