How accurate are hospital scales?

Rimma Goldberg and Geoffrey Hebbard
Med J Aust 2011; 194 (12): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2011.tb03162.x
Published online: 20 June 2011

To the Editor: Weight fluctuations may lead to significant changes in a patient’s treatment, so it is vital that hospital scales are accurate. A literature review revealed that calibration,1 accuracy2 and centralised hospital quality control3 of hospital scales were issues that are being recognised and addressed around the world. We audited all scales at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, city campus, to assess their accuracy and identify the types of scales that are likely to be most accurate.

  • 1 St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.


  • 1. Pedrolli C, Cereda E, Costa A. Fighting hospital malnutrion: let’s start by calibrating hospital scales! Mediterr J Nutr Metab 2009; 2: 145-147.
  • 2. O’Connor J, Youde LS, Allen JR, et al. Outcomes of a nutrition audit in a tertiary pediatric hospital: implications for service improvement. J Paediatr Child Health 2004; 40: 295-298.
  • 3. Local Authorities Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services. The weight of the matter: final report of the LACORS national medical weighing project 2008/9. London: LACORS, 2009. (accessed Apr 2011).


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