Midwives’ experiences of using the Obstetric Norwegian Early Warning System (ONEWS): A national cross-sectional study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEuropean Journal of Midwifery. 2021, 5 (4), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.18332/ejm/134510
Introduction: Increasing numbers of maternity units are implementing routine and standardized monitoring of all women using a form of Early Warning Score System with the aim to early detect women at risk of developing critical illness or a deterioration of their condition. The implementation in Norway is relatively new. This study aimed to describe Norwegian midwives’ experiences with the Obstetric Norwegian Early Warning System (ONEWS). Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study based on an electronic questionnaire, sent to heads of midwifery at all maternity units in Norway for distribution to their clinically active midwives. Thirty-one of 48 units had implemented ONEWS for over a month. About 1020 midwives received the questionnaire, 232 (23%) responded. Results: Of the participants, 217 (93.5%) reported receiving sufficient training and 230 (99.1%) reported using the same scoring system, including the same vital parameters measured. The criteria for use of ONEWS varied between units regarding inclusion criteria and frequency of scoring. A total of 214 (92.2%) midwives agreed that ONEWS has value in the surveillance of high-risk women, while 152 (65.5%) agreed that ONEWS contributes to medicalization of the care of low-risk women. Some 166 (71.6%) midwives reported that ONEWS was time consuming and 159 (68.5%) that the measures need to be better adapted to childbearing women. Conclusions: Maternity units in Norway implementing ONEWS use an almost identical scoring system but varying criteria for whom to score and how often. Midwives considered ONEWS particularly suited for high-risk women and not for low-risk childbearing women.