Box 3.

Aims of initial assessment of acute medical patients

  • Determine if time-critical emergency interventions are needed

  • Assess illness severity to guide treatment decisions

  • Develop initial working diagnosis to guide investigations, clinical pathway, treatments and ongoing observations

  • Establish an understanding of the patient's background condition, including known medical conditions and treatments, self-care abilities including Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) in those over 65 years old, home circumstances including current and potential carers

  • Determine patient and family expectations of care, including ‘This is me’18 and advance care plans