When people require care it becomes a highly complicated process consisting of a variety of people of different levels of skill and training, the most up-to-date technology and treatments that are continually being renewed and changed. Unfortunately the human element of care is that mistakes will be made and are sometimes inevitable to avoid.
However patients are entitled to a level of safety, proper practice and a system in place which ensure that every attempt is made to reduce any unfortunate surgical errors from occurring such as medical complications, infections and falls. As Professor Debora Picone, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care claims “patients are entitled to enter a system where everything possible has been done to minimize preventable events”. The NSQHS standards are designed to do exactly this, whereby a set of guidelines and uniform set of measures of safety and quality are provided nationally across the health system.
The standards are set out across several different areas in the sector and will benefit them in the following ways:
- Will provide governance for quality and safety in various health service organisations
- Help prevent and control all healthcare related infections and diseases
- Will provide patient identification and procedure
- Setting guidelines to help prevent and manage all categories of pressure injuries
- Providing a framework that will help recognise and respond to clinical deterioration in acute healthcare
- Outlining measures that will provide medication safety
- Ensuring a smooth and Efficient Clinical Handover
This poses the question, who polices the police? An accreditation has been established to thoroughly check the Standards are being implemented correctly. Once the accreditation has passed it will ensure that patients being treated and their families or carers are being protected by the 10 new safety systems that have been put in place.
Furthermore there is a financial benefit to all the hospitals, as clinical incidents can be extremely costly to the business side of the hospital.
Overall Professor Picone believes that there is a big improvement in the system and the standards are showing positive results as she claims “people are being very positive about working with us on this, particularly clinical staff. Doctors and nurses are always very keen to ensure that their parents have a safe experience”. To find out more about the NSQHS and the changes you need to know about as a patient or medical practitioner click here
The upcoming conference here at criterion ‘Measuring to meet NSQHS Standards’ will bring the leaders in the field who are driving and implementing these measures to ensure safer clinical practice. One such speaker is Sally Bennett from Monash Health, who is at the forefront for setting, implementing and maintaining all the National Quality Standards, and the Risk management that applies to clinical practice. Her implementation of the standards ensures that hospitals are operating with a strong performance mentality, ensuring safety for patients and compliance with the national standards.