Introduction

Changes in patient populations, along with economic and practical considerations, have led to an overall increase in patient acuity on the general care floor (GCF). Despite the presence of higher risk patients, current GCF surveillance is often limited to isolated spot checks of core vital signs, such as heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and temperature, with such observations often limited to every 4 hours, which leaves patients unmonitored 96% of the time.([FOOTNOTE=Weinger, M. B., & Lee, L. A. No Patient Shall Be Harmed By Opioid-Induced Respiratory Depression. APSF Newsletter. 2011;26(2):21.],[ANCHOR=],[LINK=]) Therefore, these patients may be placed at increased risk for respiratory compromise.

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