Skip to main content

Evidence to Improve Care


Care for Adults

These quality statements describe what high-quality care looks like for people at risk for delirium or who are experiencing symptoms of delirium.

See below for a summary of the quality standard or download it for more detailed statements.

Download the Quality Standard

Quality Statement 1: Identification of Risk Factors for Delirium
On initial contact with the health care system, people are assessed for risk factors for delirium, especially when they present to hospital or long-term care. Any risk factors for delirium are documented in their health record and at transitions in care, and are communicated to the person, their family and caregivers, and their health care team.

Quality Statement 2: Interventions to Prevent Delirium
People at risk for delirium receive interventions to prevent delirium that are tailored to their individual needs and care setting.

Quality Statement 3: Early Screening for Delirium
People presenting to hospital with any risk factors for delirium, or who have an acute change in behaviour or cognitive function during a hospital stay or in a long-term care home or in the community, are screened for delirium in a timely manner by a health care professional who is trained in screening for delirium using standardized, validated tools. The person and their family and caregivers are asked about any acute changes in the person’s behaviour or cognitive function.

Quality Statement 4: Education for People With Delirium, Family, and Caregivers
People who are at risk for delirium or who have delirium (as well as their family and caregivers) are offered education about delirium.

Quality Statement 5: Management of Delirium
Based on the results of a comprehensive assessment, people with delirium have a multicomponent interprofessional management plan to address the causes and manage the symptoms of delirium.

Quality Statement 6: Antipsychotic Medication
Only people who are in severe distress from symptoms of delirium or at immediate risk of harm to themselves or others are considered for antipsychotic medication use. These medications are always used in combination with first-line management strategies. If antipsychotic medication is started, it is reviewed daily and discontinued as soon as the clinical situation allows.

Quality Statement 7: Transitions in Care
At transitions in care, people with current or resolved delirium (as well as their family and caregivers) are given information related to delirium and its management. This information is communicated to those involved in the person’s circle of care and documented in the health record at transitions in care.

Let’s make our health system healthier

Join Our Patient, Family and Public Advisors Program

Patients, families and the public are central to improving health quality.

Man smiling

Sign up for our newsletter

Are you passionate about quality health care for all Ontarians? Stay in-the-know about our newest programs, reports and news.

Health Quality Connect - Health Quality Ontario's newsletter - on an iPad and a cell phone