Make your commitment
  • Be a

    Everyone has a role to play

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  • Every
    health service organisation
    has a role
    to play

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  • Share
    your story

    Simple steps to get involved

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    have committed to better care


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    Be a champion. Spread the word.

Cognitive Impairment is a safety and quality issue


This site is designed to support health service organisations that are assessed to the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards to improve the recognition of and response to people with cognitive impairment.

Our aim is to provide better outcomes and experiences for people with cognitive impairment, their loved ones, and staff who care for them in health service organisations. By improving our knowledge and care practices, we can reduce the risk of harm.

New cognitive impairment resources aligned to the second edition of the NSQHS Standards are now available on the Commission’s website.

Why is cognitive impairment

  • Be alert
  • Recognise and respond
  • Better care

People with cognitive impairment are at increased risk of preventable complications. Cognitive impairment is common, but is often not identified, or it is dismissed or misdiagnosed. We may dismiss symptoms of delirium as a normal part of ageing, or as dementia, potentially preventing us from taking action. We may not understand what a person is experiencing, which increases their distress.

The first step to making a person’s stay safer is to understand the different forms of cognitive impairment, the people who are at risk, and what we need to be alert to.

Elderly male in a hospital bed with female beside the bed.

People with cognitive impairment are at increased risk of adverse events and preventable complications. We can minimise harm if we recognise cognitive impairment and act.

We can prevent delirium with the right response to those at risk, and we can ask families to help.

A male and female discussing medication with clinician

There are simple steps we can all take to keep people safe from the potential impact of cognitive impairment.

We can all make a difference.

This website has extensive resources to help.

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Be a champion

  • Commit
  • Act
  • Learn

Everyone who cares for people with cognitive impairment can commit to cognitive care – people living with cognitive impairment, carers, family members and other support people, doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, health service managers, and care and support staff.

Champions are in hospitals, in primary health, in the community and in residential care.

senior woman in hospital, getting longtime electrocardiogramm and blood preasure measurement, standing beside bed

As an individual, we can take action. Health service organisations can put systems in place for better care. Be prepared for the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards (second edition).

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Everyone has a role. Learn about cognitive impairment. Learn from others. Be part of the community making a difference.

Aboriginal man

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Watch Now

This webinar will be of interest to those who would like to understand how to set up and implement a person centred volunteer program within their hospital. The slides are available here.

Play now

This webinar covers key elements including medication reconciliation and review, appropriate prescribing and consumer involvement along with illustrating the importance of a team approach. Slides available here. Supplementary video here.

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Professor Sharon Inouye is interviewed by Associate Professor Gideon Caplan. They discuss the vital importance of addressing delirium in our health care system.

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Ms Ellie Newman, the Coordinator for cognitive impairment at the Royal Perth Bentley Group, shares her top tips for cognitive impairment champions. To watch the full interview, click here.

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This webinar discusses the inclusion of cognitive impairment in NSQHS Standards and offered an opportunity for participants to consider their role as lead cognitive champions. Slides available here.

Play now