Background: Predictive scores such as APACHE II have been used to assess patients in intensive care units, but few scores have been used to assess acutely ill general medical patients.
Design: Examination of the ability of clinical variables documented at the time of admission to predict early mortality between 15 min and 24 h after admission.
Setting: An Irish rural hospital.
Subjects: 10,290 consecutive patients admitted as acute medical emergencies, divided into a derivation cohort of 6947 patients and a validation cohort of 3343 patients.
Results: 40 patients of the derivation cohort (0.6%) died within 24h of hospital admission. Multivariate analysis revealed 11 independent predictors of early death from which a simplified model with minimal loss of predictive ability was derived. Since this model contained only the five variables of Hypotension (systolic blood pressure<100 mm Hg), low Oxygen saturation (<90%), low Temperature (<35 degrees C, abnormal ECG and Loss of independence (unable to stand unaided) it was named the HOTEL score (one point for each variable). There were no differences in the early mortality predicted by this score between the derivation and validation cohorts-the area under the receiver operator characteristic curves for the derivation and validation cohorts were 86.5% and 85.4%, respectively. None of the patients with a score of zero died within 15 min and 24 h and a score of one had an early mortality of 0.3% in both cohorts. A score of two had an early mortality of 0.9% in the derivation cohort and 1.7% in the validation cohort, while a score of three or greater had an early mortality of 10.2% in the derivation and 5.6% the validation cohort.
Conclusions: The HOTEL score quickly identifies patients at a low and high risk of death between 15 min and 24 h after admission, thus enabling prompt triage and placement within a health care facility.