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Standards for general practices (4th edition)

including Interpretive guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services

Standard 3.2 Education and training

Our practice supports and encourages quality improvement and risk management through education and training.

Criterion 3.2.3

Training of administrative staff

Our administrative staff participate in training relevant to their role in the practice.

Indicators

► A. Our administrative staff can provide evidence of training relevant to their role in the practice.

► B. Our administrative staff have CPR training at least every 3 years.

Explanation

Key points

  • Administrative staff play a vital role in the provision of quality general practice care
  • Administrative staff require training appropriate to their role in the practice
  • Administrative staff are required to have CPR training at least every 3 years.

Training relevant to the role

Administrative staff such as receptionists and practice managers who do not provide clinical care need training to be successful in their roles. This training may include formal courses in areas such as practice management, computers, software applications, first aid, medical terminology, medical practice reception and cross cultural engagement.

Additionally or alternatively, training may be ‘on the job’ training provided by GPs or other staff in the practice in areas such as learning how to use the patient health records system, making appointments, recognising medical emergencies when patients present in reception, confidentiality requirements and familiarisation with the practice policy and procedures manual.

Triage training

From a risk management perspective, it is particularly important that the relevant nonclinical staff receive triage training in order to recognise medical emergencies and prioritise appointments for patients with urgent clinical needs. Triage training may be delivered by clinical staff within the practice or by appropriate external providers. If in doubt as to the urgency of a patient’s need, administrative staff should be trained to consult with the practice nurse or GP to assess the degree of clinical urgency.

CPR training

The RACGP recognises that CPR skills are used infrequently and will thus diminish over time. As administrative staff may be present during a medical emergency, they need to be trained in CPR to assist the medical team. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation training for administrative staff may be conducted by medical staff or other clinical staff who feel competent to train colleagues and the RACGP encourages practices to use medical or other clinical staff who have a current CPR instructor’s certificate that complies with ARC guidelines on instructor competencies. Alternatively, CPR training for administrative staff may be conducted by an accredited training provider.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation training that is solely online does not meet ARC requirements for the physical demonstration of skills by trainees at the completion of the CPR course.

Although Indicator B does not mandate CPR training more frequently than 3 yearly, many general practice professionals believe CPR training should be conducted on a more frequent basis, preferably annually.

Resources

Information on courses run by the Australian Association of Practice Managers is available at www.aapm.org.au/html/s01_home/home.asp.

Standard 3.2 Education and training

Our practice supports and encourages quality improvement and risk management through education and training.

Criterion 3.2.3

Training of administrative staff

Our administrative staff participate in training relevant to their role in the practice.

In a nutshell

Your administrative staff are suitably qualified and regularly participate in training relevant to their role in your health service.

Key team members

  • Health service manager
  • All administrative staff
  • Medical and clinical staff with training responsibilities

Key organisational functions

  • Human resources management and administration
  • Staff training and CPD calendar and records

Indicators and what they mean

Table 3.7 explains each of the indicators for this criterion. Refer to Criterion 3.2.3 Training of administrative staff of the Standards for general practices for more information and explanations of some of the concepts referred to in this criterion. 

Table 3.7 Criterion 3.2.3: Training of administrative staff
IndicatorWhat this means and handy hints

▶ A. Our administrative staff can provide evidence of training relevant to their role in the practice.

Your administrative staff – such as receptionists, health service managers, health service drivers and cultural liaison officers – need to be provided with training relevant to their role. Training may include formal courses, or may be provided by suitably qualified medical, clinical and management staff. It can be provided in areas such as health service management, computers, software applications, first aid, medical terminology, health service reception and cross-cultural training.

Training can also be provided on the job, and include teaching staff how to:

  • use a patient health records system
  • make appointments
  • recognise medical emergencies when patients are in reception
  • understand confidentiality requirements
  • familiarise themselves with the health service policy and procedures manual.

Triage training, appropriate to the role, needs to be provided to administrative staff to reduce patient risk. For example, reception staff could be trained to recognise medical emergencies, prioritise appointments, act in a culturally sensitive manner or know when and how to consult with a nurse or doctor to assess the degree of medical urgency in a particular situation (see also Criterion 1.1.1 Scheduling care in opening hours).

▶ B. Our administrative staff have CPR training at least every 3 years.

The RACGP recognises that CPR skills may diminish over time due to infrequent use, and CPR skills are therefore required to be refreshed every 3 years. It is preferable that CPR training occur annually, where possible. This is important as administrative staff may be present during a medical emergency.

Training in CPR may be conducted by medical staff, preferably with a current CPR instructor’s certificate that complies with the ARC guidelines on instructor competencies. Training can also be conducted by an accredited training provider. Note: training that is solely online does not meet ARC requirements.

Case study

Below is a description of the ways in which an Aboriginal community controlled health service can ensure that its administrative staff participate in training relevant to their role. Not all of these good practices are required by the Standards, but they illustrate the many practical and creative things that ACCHSs can do to ensure they deliver services of high safety and quality to their community.

The service’s budget includes a line item for administrative staff training.

Administrative staff employee files contain evidence of courses, in-services and training attended. Staff performance planning and review processes include an area of identified training that individual staff members would like to attend or need to attend to be competent in their role.

The service receives, and distributes to staff members, information about training opportunities and other resources appropriate to their roles.

The service’s strategic plan includes a staff training and development plan, with a budget. Training calendars from state health departments, Medicare Locals, local health services and NACCHO state or territory affiliates are available in varied locations within the service and are also distributed by email to staff. Training for all administration staff includes cultural safety training.

General staff meetings include on-the-job training in the form of revision of policies, protocols, procedures and distribution of resources. Staff members receive triage training on the job as part of their induction program and the service provides for annual revision.

New administrative staff participate in induction training and are allocated a buddy for 3 months, to help them understand administration processes and procedures.

All staff members participate in an annual performance management planning and review, which includes both a review of training undertaken and the identification of training required or requested for the next year

Showing how you meet Criterion 3.2.3

Below are some of the ways in which an Aboriginal community controlled health service might choose to demonstrate how it meets the requirements of this criterion for accreditation against the Standards. Please use the following as examples only, because your service may choose other, better-suited, forms of evidence to show how it meets the criterion.

  • List staff qualifications in employee files.
  • Keep staff training logs.
  • Mention staff qualifications in job descriptions.
  • Keep a training and development calendar.
  • Conduct annual performance planning and keep review documents indicating identification of training needs and training completed.
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