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Patient deterioration single map Patient deterioration double map Consumer summary (28KB, docx)


The national patient deterioration programme is a five-year plan to reduce harm from failures to recognise or respond to acute physical deterioration in adults admitted to Aotearoa New Zealand hospitals. Such patients may suffer acute physical deterioration at any point during a hospital stay with many showing signs of instability for some time before events such as cardiac arrest or admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) occur. There are often opportunities to intervene to prevent serious harm if deterioration is detected early.

More information on how the Commission is working to standardise detection of physical deterioration and respond early can be found on our website.

The patient deterioration domain of the Atlas of Healthcare Variation focuses on patients who deteriorate to the point of needing ICU admission. This is because individual data is not currently collected from the ward environment on patients who do not require ICU admission, as they are detected earlier. We acknowledge there are limitations of focusing on ICU admission.

This Atlas domain reports data from the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) adult patient database, to which 15 district health boards (DHBs) with an ICU contribute data. The domain presents data for DHBs whose ICU has explicitly given permission for data to be included.

The goal of this Atlas domain is to identify whether there is wide variation in rates, which may highlight areas for further local investigation and improvement.

Patient deterioration

Published: 29 Oct 2021 Modified: 3 Dec 2021