Clinical deterioration

Despite having highly qualified, dedicated staff and high tech equipment, early recognition and appropriate timely response to patients who are clinically deteriorating - in either physiological or mental state - may not always occur and could result in the missed opportunity to prevent serious morbidity or death in the acute health care setting. The South Australian Department for Health and Wellbeing, Safety and Quality team lead the coordination of a state-wide standardised approach to SA Health services systems and tools to improve early recognition and appropriate, timely and effective response to clinical deterioration.

SA Health resources

Rapid Detection and Response (RDR) Observation Charts

SA Health provide a range of paper-based forms and Sunrise equivalent for the purpose of assisting clinicians to recognise early signs of physiological deterioration, and take appropriate action, which may include triggering a review by other clinicians. See RDR Observation Charts

Consumer initiated escalation of care (You’re worried, we’re listening )

SA Health has a state-wide strategy to support consumer initiated escalation of care within a public hospital visit or stay.

Recognising and responding to mental state deterioration

The ability for healthcare services to recognise and respond to acute deterioration in a consumer’s mental state was introduced in the second edition of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards in 2017.

National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard 8: Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration

The NSQHS Standard Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration describes actions that need to be met for accreditation.

National Consensus Statement

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.


Safety and Quality team