What is a scoring system

Scoring systems are methods designed to quantify and reduce a number of discrete but interrelated patient characteristics to a single value, with the final value relating to the severity of the condition. This concept is best illustrated by reference to a simple scoring system in general use in intensive care, for example the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). Rather than describing a patient's level of neurological function in words and relying on the assumption that colleagues share both common definitions and therefore meaning for those words, the level of neurological function for a patient is expressed as a score. In the case of the GCS, the total score is the sum of discrete scores for interrelated neurological characteristics, namely eye opening, motor response, and verbal response. The lower the GCS, the greater is the impairment of neurological function.

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