Clinical deterioration

Despite having highly qualified and 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, Clinical Governance Unit 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

Policy Guideline

The SA Health Recognising and Responding to Clinical Deterioration Policy Directive (PDF 283KB) describes the roles and responsibilities of employees of health service organisations in improving and supporting the recognition and response to clinical deterioration in acute health care. The policy aims to promote effective recognition, response and management of the deteriorating patient in SA Health services, that takes into account the patient preferences and advance care directives.

National Safety and Quality 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.


Clinical Governance Unit