Waikato DHB’s Adult Deterioration Detection System (ADDS) aims to identify deterioration in an adult patient’s condition early, so they can be treated as quickly as possible.
Waikato DHB nurse co-ordinator David Drower said the system included a visual representation of a patient’s progress captured by a new adult ‘vital signs’ chart.
“This includes an early warning scoring tool linked to an escalation process. Staff can see at a glance if there has been any deterioration in a patient’s condition, and if there has been, what steps they need to take.”
This development is part of a new rapid response system for the DHB, primarily aimed at supporting adult patient management in general hospital wards and reducing the incidence of cardiac arrest in these areas.
An evaluation of the ADDS system at the end of a trial showed that the new chart and process supports improved identification of deterioration and early escalation for medical review. Waikato hospital ward 12 clinical nurse manager Anne Ellison said that staff find the tool empowering, and that it supports early, or timelier treatment for patients.
Of particular interest, said David Drower, is the impact on the hospital cardiac arrest rate.
“During the trial, although we saw an increase in medical emergency calls, we did achieve a reduction in actual cardiac arrest and a reduction in death as a result of cardiac arrest.”
Plans are being developed to rollout ADDS to the rest of the organisation.
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