One of the fundamental components of successful recognition and response systems is that all clinicians who provide acute patient care have the necessary skills and knowledge to keep patients who deteriorate safe from preventable harm. It is necessary to ensure that clinicians can accurately assess patients and interpret signs and symptoms of clinical deterioration; recognise the urgency of a situation; communicate effectively to escalate care; and provide immediate interventions while awaiting expert help. When clinicians lack the requisite skills to identify and interpret signs and symptoms of clinical deterioration and initiate early interventions, patients may not receive appropriate and timely treatment. Serious adverse outcomes such as unplanned transfer to intensive care and cardiopulmonary arrest can result.

The Commission describes the Australian approach to recognising and responding to clinical deterioration in acute care in two key documents. These are the National Consensus Statement: Essential Elements for Recognising and Responding to Clinical Deterioration (the Consensus Statement) and National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standard 9.

National Consensus Statement: Essential Elements for Recognising and Responding to Clinical Deterioration

NSQHS Standards

Consultation

The Commission held an open consultation in early 2014 to determine if there is a core set of skills, knowledge and competencies for recognising and responding to deterioration that should be common to all clinicians providing acute patient care. This consultation closed in June 2014, with the Commission receiving 99 formal submissions.

Information from the consultation process will inform the Commission’s decision-making when reviewing Standard 9. It will also aid the Commission in determining the need for additional or alternative mechanisms to provide a standardised approach to training and a framework for accountability.

Links to the consultation paper, the consultation report and the submissions are provided below.

To view individual submissions, please contact Ms Jennifer Hill, Senior Project Officer, on 02 9126 3600 or via email at jennifer.hill@safetyandquality.gov.au.

NSQHS Standards: Training and competencies in recognising and responding to clinical deterioration in acute care consultation paper (PDF 394KB) (Word 140KB)

Training and competencies for recognising and responding to clinical deterioration: Consultation report and options for action (Nov 2014) (PDF 381KB) (Word 104KB)

Training and competencies – submissions (PDF 147KB) (Word 18KB)