Standard 6 of the NSQHS 10 standards can be defined by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care as “Clinical leaders and senior managers of a health service organisation implement documented systems for effective and structured clinical handover. Clinicians and other members of the workforce use the clinical handover systems.”
Very wordy if you ask me… So what does it all mean? To summarize standard 6 in layman’s terms it is all based around keeping a patient safe when it comes to transferring a patient from one specialist/carer to another.
So how do health care providers pass and get accredited? The key to this one is communication.
Clinical communication problems are a major contributing factor in 70% of hospital incidents leading to an increased risk of adverse events. For each stage at which clinical handover can occur it is fundamental that you analyse the situation and the communication involved using the below 5-step Clinical Risk Management guide as used by The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.
Establish the context – This would include outlining the events or settings of which the handover would be taking place. Is it just a simple transfer from a surgeon to a nurse or is it something more complex like transferring a patient from one hospital to another
Identify the possible risks – What could possibly go wrong? Whatever you think of, address it here… Does the patient need to travel? Could they be exposed to something that isn’t good for them?
Analyse the risks – Examine the different risks you have identified. Why or how could they occur? This could be things such as a patient catching a cold from transferring a patient outdoors
Evaluate the risks – Give the risks a value in terms of the chances of them occurring, and how they would affect the patient or more importantly how could you prevent them from occurring? This could be such things as evaluating the chances of a patient not getting correct dietary requirements and the affects it would have on the patient
Treat the risks – Now you know what the risks are and how important they are it’s time to minimize them. Maybe it’s time to install an electronic record board so that all people dealing with the patient have logged details of all communications.
What do you think about NSQHS Standard 6? Have you successfully been accredited? What worked well for you and what didn’t? It would be great if anyone would share their clinical risks management procedures to see how others are doing it differently.
Are you interested in reducing your clinical risks? Maybe now’s a good time to learn from some experts with the next round of accreditations starting soon.
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