Skip links and keyboard navigation

Queensland-designed patient safety tools go global

Patient safety tools developed by Queensland Health could be saving lives across the globe as early as next year.

Queensland Health has signed an agreement with the United Nations, allowing the use of early warning and response system clinical observation charts in UN-operated facilities all over the world.

Deputy Director General of Queensland Health’s Clinical Excellence Division Dr John Wakefield has welcomed the UN’s intentions to adopt the state-of-the-art resources.

“These tools can be the difference between life and death,” he said.

“They show clinicians early signs of deterioration before physical changes can be seen.”

The Queensland Adult Deterioration Detection System (Q-ADDS) and the Children’s Early Warning and Response System Tool (CEWT) are used throughout Queensland and in several hospitals in Western Australia and Tasmania.

“Failure to recognise or respond to clinical deterioration can lead to unexpected death or permanent harm, so these tools are vital for saving lives in Queensland hospitals and could soon be saving lives around the world,” he said.

“We use them in almost all Queensland Health facilities and they’re being rolled out electronically statewide with the Digital Hospital Program.”

Dr Wakefield said the resources were developed collaboratively with clinicians.

“Queensland Health worked closely with clinicians to develop the Q-ADDS and the CEWT tools that provide clinicians with an illness severity score,” he said.

“A clinician can rapidly identify if a patient’s condition is deteriorating and escalate their care for medical or emergency team review.

“I’m certain these tools will make a difference in healthcare across the globe.”

Director of the UN Medical Services Division Dr Jillann Farmer said they were very grateful to Queensland Health for agreeing to their use of these comprehensive tools.

“The UN operates healthcare for its personnel in some of the most austere environments on the planet,” she said.

“We are hopeful that these tools will help to optimize healthcare in UN facilities.”

Dr Wakefield said the first step is for the UN to test the tools in environments where diseases not common in Australia are found.

“The tools will initially be evaluated by the United Nations for suitability in an environment where conditions – such as malaria, typhoid and other tropical diseases – are not commonly seen in Queensland,” he said.

It is expected that training for UN personnel on the new resources will commence in early 2018.

Media contact: +61 7 3708 5376

Last updated: 29 November 2017