Ryan’s Rule promotes patient safety

  • Girl in hospital bed
Moya Sandow
Health Consumers of Rural and Remote Australia

In September 2007, Ryan Saunders, a three-year old boy from Emerald in Queensland, tragically died in hospital. His death was found likely to have been preventable, as a result of a framework of contributing factors across three Queensland Health facilities.

As a consequence, Ryan’s Rule was developed. It empowers health consumers of any age, parents, carers and family members to initiate a clinical review of the patient who is being treated in a Queensland Health hospital to address any concerns about their treatment or deterioration. Ryan’s Rule brochures and patient information posters are readily available and in public view at all Queensland Health facilities.

Ryan’s Rule provides a three-step escalation process in which concerns are raised first with a nurse or doctor, progressing to talking to the nurse in charge of the shift, and then telephoning 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) to request a Ryan’s Rule Clinical Review if dissatisfied. A Ryan’s Rule nurse or doctor will review the patient and assist.

It promotes patient safety by helping to mitigate the risk of preventable patient harm or death.

Ryans rule chart poster

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