Recognising and responding to clinical deterioration

Many patients who experience a deterioration of their condition often exhibit warning signs (including abnormal vital signs) in the hours prior to the event.

Early recognition and response to clinical deterioration may prevent adverse events and potentially deaths in the hospital system.

WA Health Clinical Deterioration Policy

The OD 0501/14 WA Health Clinical Deterioration Policy (external site) is intended for use by all clinicians working within Western Australian Department of Health Services and applies to all in-patients within WA Health acute care facilities having an acute or subacute (or residential in WACHS) episode of care.

It provides the minimum requirements to ensure that clinical deterioration is recognised and acted upon promptly.

National Recognising and Responding to Clinical Deterioration Program

The National Recognising and Responding to Clinical Deterioration (RRCD) Program is being coordinated by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC).

ACSQHC work in this area relates to Standard 9 of the 10 National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (external site)

Work by the ACSQHC in this area includes:

A series of tools and guidelines to support the implementation of the ACSQHC  program (external site) have also been developed. These include:

Western Australian RRCD Program

At a statewide level it is important that this safety and quality priority has senior Executive leadership to guide policy direction and governance, and ensure a consistent approach is adopted across WA Health.

The RRCD program in WA is overseen by the:

  • RRCD Executive Steering Committee
  • RRCD Implementation subcommittee
  • RRCD Network

For more information about the program, contact the Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit.

Resources and tools are available for WA Health staff via the Department’s intranet.

More information

Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit
Address: 189 Royal Street, East Perth
Phone: 9222 4080
Email: qicm@health.wa.gov.au

Last reviewed: 30-09-2016
Last updated: 07-12-2016
Produced by

Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit