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Discovering life’s routines helps prevent delirium

Published 05/04/2022

“We used to record people as ‘confused',” says nurse manager Sarah Jenkin. “Now we write delirium and take appropriate action to manage the condition.”

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Four staff stand in a hospital setting

From left to right: Brianna Walpole, Sarah Jenkin, Dean Everard and Nikki Turner from Monash Health, Casey.

Sarah’s ward at Monash Health, Casey Campus, was the best-performing site in the Safer Care Victoria Delirium Collaborative that aimed to improve the care of older patients in hospital by doing more to prevent, identify and manage delirium.

The Monash Health team on Ward H used the 4AT delirium screening tool for every new admission.

Where once they didn’t consistently screen for delirium, now it is part of their standard work.

The Monash response also involves collecting information about the patients' routines, like playing cards or scheduling physio at a time of day when a patient is restless, for example at 2:30pm when the patient would normally be taking their dog for a walk.

By knowing more about their patients' lives and routines they could improve their care.

Monash Health Casey was one of 21 teams involved in the collaborative which concluded in 2020.

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