Serious adverse events such as unexpected death and cardiac arrest are often preceded by observable physiological and clinical abnormalities. Other serious events such as suicide or aggression are are also often preceded by observed or reported changes in a person's behaviours or mood that can indicate a deterioration in their mental state.
The Recognising and Responding to Clinical Deterioration in Acute Health Care Standard was introduced in the first edition of the NSQHS Standards.
The Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration Standard describes the systems and processes to respond effectively to patients when their physical, mental or cognitive condition deteriorates.
Ensuring that patients who deteriorate receive appropriate and timely care is a key safety and quality challenge. The Commission has introduced a range of systems to better manage recognition of and response to acute physiological deterioration.
National Consensus Statement: Essential elements for recognising and responding to acute physiological deterioration
The National Consensus Statement: Essential elements for recognising and responding to acute physiological deterioration sets out the agreed practice for recognising and responding to acute physiological deterioration. It was developed as a generic document that applies to all patients in all acute care facilities in Australia.
A series of five Quick-Start Guides enables rapid access to the key requirements for implementation of the National Consensus Statement Essential Elements.
This guide was released in 2012 to support implementation of the National Consensus Statement: Essential elements for recognising and responding to clinical deterioration. The Consensus Statement was updated in 2016.
The tools and resources can still be used by health service providers to identify strategies for successfully implementing robust recognition and response systems to address acute physiological deterioration.
Monitoring and documenting physiological observations is a key component of recognition and response systems. An observation and response chart is a document that allows the recording of patient observations, and specifies the actions to be taken in response to deterioration from the norm.