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Several hundred delegates heard a variety of engaging presentations at the Conference in Melbourne 24 & 25 May 2012. Provocative speaker Andy Black challenged his audience to evaluate and scrutinise government programs rather than presuming their success. He was followed by a panel of health consumers facilitated by Health Issues Centre Director Mary Draper, recounting their experiences with good and bad health care. This session reminded us of the resounding impact of the consumer narrative in safety, quality and governance. QIC Executive Director Steve Einfeld later spoke about the evidence for accreditation and its benefits as an aid to organisational learning, rather than simply a regulatory device. You can view the conference presentations by clicking here.
Australian Health Ministers have approved the Australian Safety and Quality Health Service Standards and a corresponding accreditation system to support safe practices in health services. QIC has been working closely with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare to refine the standards, assessment tools and the accreditation system. The new system will be complementary to the QIC Standards and Accreditation Program and QIC looks forward to playing a role in implementing it. Use of the standards will only be compulsory in health services providing high risk procedures however they set out safety requirements in significant detail, and will be a valuable guide for health services generally. For a copy of the national standards click here
QIC has recently made awards to three Board members for Outstanding Service. Sue Briggs, Andrew Stanley and Brendon Davidson together have given more than 30 years service to the Board. In making the Award, Chair Prof Susan Dann said the recipients had provided strong and highly competent leadership to QIC at all stages of its development, and at considerable personal sacrifice. She thanked them and congratulated them on their achievement. For pictures click here
QIC has recently received International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua) accreditation for its 6th Edition Health and Community Services Standards. The Standards were assessed against 6 internationally recognised Principles for standards development and implementation. This is QIC’s second 4 year ISQua accreditation cycle – its 5th Edition standards were accredited in 2006.
On being advised of the award, QIC Chair Prof Susan Dann said: ‘ We are very proud of the high international standing of our program. The 6th Edition standards were produced through a thorough research and consultation process . We are always looking for ways of improving our standards and processes and are delighted that ISQua has recognised the quality of this work.
QIC’s 6th Edition standards can be obtained by downloading an Order Form from the Publications section of the QIC website and sending payment as advised.
Friends of QIC and its licensed provider QICSA were shocked and saddened with the sudden passing of Russell Renhard in late December 2010. A pioneer of both organisations and Director of QICSA for many years, Russell was a determined and clear thinking advocate for quality improvement in health and community services. His deep understanding of quality and his love for the community sector was greatly respected in Victoria and beyond. In 2005 QIC gave Russell an Award for Outstanding Contribution to the work of the Council.
In 2010, just weeks before his untimely passing, Russell regailed guests in a speech at a QIC commemorative dinner about the early days of the program. True to form he was authoritative, irreverent and funny. We will remember him fondly.
On 10 May 2010 QIC's Health and Community Services Standards 6th Edition were launched by Dr Helena Williams, chair of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare's Primary Care Committee. Completion of the standards culminates over 2 years research, consultation and trialling. The 6th Edition marks a departure from QIC's 2 tier (generic plus service specific) standards structure and a move towards a single generic set of standards. QIC moved to this model to simplify and streamline assessment, at a time when multiple sets of standards have become a problem for services in the field.
Introducing the new standards at the launch, QIC Executive Director Steve Einfeld said that the 6th Edition introduced some important changes:
Dr Williams, a general medical practitioner and CEO of General Practice Network South in Adelaide said she especially liked the new standard on Safety and Quality Integration by which organisations are encouraged to have a consistent and accountable organisation-wide approach to safety and quality. "It's an important reminder that fragmented quality is not quality at all", she said. "The 6th Edition also has a strong theme of consumer and community engagement, which is fundamental to effective community health services".
Organisations in the QIC program receive the standards without further charge. Others may obtain the standards via QIC's Publications Order Form. Click here
A new set of Interpretive Guides has been produced for QIC's 6th Edition Standards. The Guides define key terms, give examples of evidence that can be used, provide good practice examples, list relevant resources and reference other related standards. They have been written for use by organisations preparing their Quality Journal self assessment in the QIC accreditation program.
There are three Interpretive Guides - for Health and Primary Care Services, Community and Social Services, and for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services. The latter Guide was commissioned by the Australian Department of Health and Ageing's Office of Aboriginal and Islander Health (OATSIH) which has also published it in an attractive design.
The Guides help organisations interpret the standards according to the nature of the service being assessed, and were developed by QIC to make accreditation clearer and more transparent.
Copies of the Interpretive Guides are provided without further charge to organisations in the QIC program, and are not otherwise available.
On 10 May 2010 the First National Forum on Safety and Quality in Primary and Community Health was held at the Australian Technology Park, Sydney. The Forum brought together over 100 people from all over Australia and New Zealand - from government and NGOs, peak bodies, universities and research institutes, professional and consumer organisations, and quality practitioners.
Radio presenter and conference facilitator Julie McCrossin maintained the highly interactive character of the gathering through interviews, panel sessions and audience participation.
The future of safety and quality in primary and community health was linked to the the Australian national health reforms, which were explained in some detail by Prof Hal Swerrisen. In other presentations, services, states and consumers outlined programs, evaluations and critiques.
The Forum made a significant contribution to an action and research agenda in primary and community health and participants felt that a bi-annual Conference would be well supported.
Dual accreditation trialled at Aboriginal Health Service
In a consultancy recently completed for the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, QIC set out a framework for two accreditation bodies to use when they are accrediting the same Aboriginal community controlled health service (ACCHS). These services undergo two accreditations: for their general medical practice (Royal Australian College of General Practitioners standards) and their other services and infrastructure (QIC standards). The framework was recently trialled at the Goondir Aboriginal Health Service in South East Queensland. The trial showed that with only a little change in scheduling and some open communication between the review/survey teams, the experience of multiple accreditation can be much less disruptive and more rewarding for the assessed organisation. Pictures QIC considers standards reforms
QIC is considering some important changes to the structure of its standards. The changes involve a move away from the 2 tier towards a single tier system. The current 2 tier approach comprises the Core Standards + Service Specific Standards (see the Publications page on this website for more detail of the current system). The proposed new system involves enhanced Core Standards, supported by a good practice interpretative guide. Under the change organisations would self assess and be externally assessed under one rather than two sets of standards. The proposal aims to simplify accreditation, while not reducing its rigour.
For a summary of the proposal, its rationale, and the results of a polling of participating organisations in early 2008, click here.
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