Criterion 3.1.1 Quality improvement activities
Our health service engages in quality improvement activities.
► A. Our staff can describe an aspect of our health service that we have improved in the past 3 years (interview).
B. Our health service uses data about the service or our patient population for quality improvement initiatives (interview or document review).
Health services that engage in quality improvement activities review the health service’s structures, systems and processes to discover opportunities to make changes that will increase the quality and safety of patient healthcare. It is critical that the health service also has a plan for carrying out any improvements it has identified as being necessary.
Quality improvement activities can vary from activities designed to improve the day-to-day operations of the health service (eg. improving patient health record keeping) to those specifically designed to improve the health of the service’s wider population (eg. improving rates of immunisation or improving the care of patients with diabetes). Quality improvement is not restricted to clinical areas and may include improvements made in response to feedback from patients about factors such as the service’s physical facilities or equipment (see Criterion 2.1.2: Patient feedback).
Quality improvement activities are underpinned by effective information management techniques that allow health services to collect and analyse data and make decisions about service improvements based on practice specific information.
Quality improvement tools and other resources
RACGP Oxygen: Intelligence in practice provides a suite of integrated products and services to improve the way patient information can be used to better inform decisions in both clinical and business settings. These include:
- The PCS Clinical Audit Tool® (CAT®), a software application used within the general practice that allows analysis of identifiable practice information
- The Clinical Health Improvement Portal® (CHIP®) a secure web based data warehouse that builds on the clinical and business improvement opportunities available via CAT® and allow analysis of de-identified practice information against GP-agreed clinical indicators.
More information about Oxygen products and services is available at www.racgp.org.au/ehealth.
Engaging in quality improvement activities is an opportunity for staff members to come together as a team to work on areas that will improve the safety or quality of patient healthcare. Achieving desired improvements may require the collaborative effort of the whole health service team.