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Physiotherapy ICU Clinical Support

Project Status: 

The PICS trial will run from April to December 2018 at the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH). The PICS service operates Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm and is staffed by an advanced physiotherapist.

The PICS service provides consultation/support to ward and overnight (on call) physiotherapists regarding the respiratory physiotherapy management of ward patients who are at risk of, or have demonstrated, respiratory deterioration. The patient remains under the care of the ward physiotherapist and identified concerns are escalated to the patient’s home team.

The service optimises clinical handover by: following patients between wards; participating in ICU Outreach handover; working closely with ICU outreach; and, participating in the evening clinical planning meeting with night medical/ICU Outreach staff.

Patients seen by PICS include identified “at risk” ward patients, patients discharged from ICU to the ward environment and patients with a tracheostomy. PICS referrals are mostly received from PAH physiotherapists and ICU Outreach nurses.

The PICS service will also support training of PAH physiotherapists in the management of deteriorating patients.

Aims & Goals: 

To implement a new advanced physiotherapist (PICS) role which will:

Optimise cardiorespiratory physiotherapy management of ward based patients at risk of, or with signs of respiratory deterioration.

Support the physiotherapy management of ward-based patients with a tracheostomy/laryngectomy.

Provide education and support to physiotherapists of all levels of experience to effectively identify and manage patients at risk of deterioration.

Liaise with and support the rostered remote On-Call Physiotherapist prior to their overnight shift (within the PICS service days and hours).


Evaluation of the trial will include a range of service metrics and de-identified clinical data.

Lead Service / Stream: 
physiotherapy, outreach, deteriorating
Last updated 18 November 2019