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Welcome to the DETECT e-learning program!

DETECT stands for Detecting Deterioration, Evaluation, Treatment, Escalation and Communicating in Teams. These e-learning materials are part of the DETECT Education Package, which is part of the Between the Flags Program. They have been developed for Nurses, Midwives Doctors and Allied Health Staff to confidently identify and manage patients who are showing signs of deterioration.

The DETECT Education Package was developed in response to the recommendations of the NSW Health Greater Metropolitan Clinical Taskforce (GMCT) Working Party and addressed the need to improve detection and management of deteriorating patients.

The Between the Flags Program of the Clinical Excellence Commission is designed to address this important issue and has been informed by the recommendations put forward by the GMCT. The recommendations were endorsed by Commissioner Garling in his Inquiry into Acute Care Services in NSW Public Hospitals. The Inquiry considered and made recommendations on improving detection and management of patients whose condition deteriorated unrecognised while they were in a health care facility.

This DETECT e-learning program has been designed to give you the tools and key information to be able to:

  • detect signs of deterioration in patients on the wards

  • know when a Clinical Review or Rapid Response should be activated

  • provide simple and timely interventions to reverse deterioration

  • communicate effectively as a team member.

There are two main sections in this resource: When to worry and Patient case studies.

In When to worry you’ll find a concise summary of how to look at your patient, early and late physiological warning signs that should cause you concern and simple treatments you can use.

In Patient case studies you’ll find information and interactive activities designed for you to review your knowledge and skills in:

  • Breathlessness, cyanosis, hypoxia: I can’t breathe

  • Cardiovascular physiology and shock: Warm hands, warm feet

  • Oliguria/anuria: I can’t pee

  • Altered conscious state: I’m confused

Each Patient case study contains:

  • a video of an expert giving an introduction to the topic

  • an interactive activity containing a patient scenario and questions designed for you to review your knowledge in a particular area of patient deterioration.

  • an interactive activity for you to review your knowledge of Early and Late Warning Signs.

  • links to the relevant chapter in the DETECT manual.

Note: Each case study describes a very real situation of deterioration. All patient details contained in the case studies are fictitious. All advice or feedback provided is general in nature. Professionals should use their own clinical judgement to decide how to treat any particular patient who has a deterioration in their condition.

Associate Professor Theresa Jacques

…talks about the DETECT program, the Between the Flags program and how both aim to improve a ‘concern, communicate and care for’ approach to patient care.

Text Version

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DETECT Manual

Chap 1: When to worry (.pdf 765kB)

Chap 2: I can’t breathe (.pdf 766kB)

Chap 3: Warm hands, warm feet (.pdf 427kB)

Chap 4: The five causes of anuria (.pdf 335kB)

Chap 5: The confused patient (.pdf 257kB)