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Testing the Deterioration Early Warning System for aged residential care

Aged residential care
10 April 2024

In February 2024, Te Tāhū Hauora hosted a 1-day workshop in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland for teams participating in a feasibility study to test a new Deterioration Early Warning System (DEWS) for aged residential care (ARC). The DEWS has been designed to support staff working in ARC to recognise when a resident may be getting sicker and to respond early. It has been designed in Aotearoa New Zealand specifically for staff working with older people living in care. 

The three tools that make up DEWS were co-designed with ARC in a research project supported by the Ageing Well National Science Challenge. Te Tāhū Hauora ARC clinical lead Julie Daltrey is leading the feasibility study alongside Associate Professor Dr Michal Boyd from the University of Auckland. 

During the 1-day workshop, teams from the six participating ARC facilities learned more about the DEWS tools. Katrina Hutching, quality improvement advisor, and Mahashweta Mistry, senior project manager, facilitated interactive workshop activities to guide teams through some of the quality improvement methods that they will use to implement DEWS during the feasibility study.  

The guest speaker for the workshop was Carolyn Cooper, the Aged Care Commissioner. Carolyn spoke about the impact that delays in recognising acute deterioration can have on residents and their whānau, highlighting the importance of the DEWS work.    

Participating facilities will begin to test the DEWS tools over the next few months, supported by the national team at Te Tāhū Hauora. An evaluation of the tools and supporting resources will follow later in 2024.