RACGP Standards and the Summer Planning Toolkit
The RACGP Standards for general practices (5th edition) (the Standards) has requirements for accredited practices to develop their own emergency response plan and undertake quality improvement activities which may relate to disaster preparedness, pandemics and chronic diseases. The following criterion and indicators will help guide your practice through the heat and potential emergencies of summer, as well as the acute and chronic illnesses that become more widespread during this time.
These indicators and criterion have been highlighted as they help practices to consider disaster and heat management in a holistic way (ie ensuring that IT and health record systems are kept confidential and backed-up in case of an emergency, or ensuring your practice has a risk identification and mitigation system).
These indicators also provide a framework for GPs and practice staff to safeguard the care of all patients, including those who are more vulnerable.
Criterion C1.1 – Information about your practice
- Indicator C1.1►A Our patients can access up-to-date information about the practice.
Criterion C1.2 – Communications
- Indicator C1.2►A Our practice manages communications from patients.
Criterion C1.4 – Interpreter and other communication services
- Indicator C1.4►A Our practice endeavours to use an interpreter with patients who do not speak the primary language of our practice team.
- Indicator C1.4►B Our practice endeavours to employ communication strategies to engage with patients who have difficulty accessing the service due to a communication impairment.
- Indicator C1.4►C Our patients can access resources that are culturally appropriate, translated, and/or in plain English.
Criterion C2.3 – Accessibility of services
- Indicator C2.3►A Our patients with disabilities or impairment can access our services.
Criterion C3.1 – Business operation systems
- Indicator C3.1►C Our practice has a business risk management system that identifies, monitors, and mitigates risks in the practice.
Criterion C3.3 – Emergency response plan
- Indicator C3.3►A Our practice has an emergency response plan for unexpected events, such as natural disasters, pandemic diseases, or unplanned absences of clinical team members.
Criterion C3.4 – Practice communication and teamwork
- Indicator C3.4►C Our clinical team discusses the practice’s clinical issues and support systems.
Criterion C3.5 – Work health and safety
- Indicator C3.5►A Our practice supports the safety, health, and wellbeing of the practice team.
Criterion C4.1 – Health promotion and preventive care
- Indicator C4.1►A Our patients receive appropriately tailored information about health promotion, illness prevention, and preventive care.
Criterion C5.1 – Diagnosis and management of health issues
- Indicator C5.1►A Our clinical team is able to access relevant current clinical and other guidelines that help diagnose and manage our patients.
- Indicator C5.1►B Our clinical team supports consistent diagnosis and management of our patients.
Criterion C6.2 – Patient health record systems
- Indicator C6.2►A Our practice has a system to manage our patient health information.
Criterion C6.3 – Confidentiality and privacy of health and other information
- Indicator C6.3►A Our patients are informed of how our practice manages confidentiality and their personal health information.
- Indicator C6.3►B Our patients are informed of how they can gain access to their health information we hold.
Criterion C6.4 – Information security
- Indicator C6.4►A Our practice has a team member who has primary responsibility for the electronic systems and computer security.
- Indicator C6.4►D Our practice has a business continuity and information recovery plan.
- Indicator C6.4►E Our practice has appropriate procedures for the storage, retention, and destruction of records.
Indicator C7.1 – Content of patient health records
- Indicator C7.1►A Our practice has an individual patient health record for each patient, which contains all health information held by our practice about that patient.
- Indicator C7.1►B Our active patient health records contain, for each active patient, their identification details, contact details, demographic, next of kin, and emergency contact information.
Criterion QI1.1 – Quality improvement activities
- Indicator QI1.1►A Our practice has at least one team member who has the primary responsibility for leading our quality improvement systems and processes.
Criterion QI1.3 – Improving clinical care
- Indicator QI1.3►B: Our practice uses relevant patient and practice data to improve clinical practice (eg chronic disease management, preventive health).
Criterion QI2.2 – Safe and quality use of medicines
- Indicator QI2.2►E Our clinical team ensures that medicines, samples and medical consumables are acquired, stored, administered, supplied and disposed of in accordance with manufacturers’ directions and relevant laws.
Criterion GP1.1 – Responsive system for patient care
- Indicator GP1.1►A: Our practice provides different consultation types to accommodate patients’ needs.
- Indicator GP1.1►B: Our practice has a triage system.
- Indicator GP1.1C: Our recorded phone message advises patients to call 000 in case of an emergency.
Criterion GP1.2 – Home and other visits
- Indicator GP1.2►A Our patients can access home and other visits when safe and reasonable.
Criterion GP1.3 – Care outside of normal opening hours
- Indicator GP1.3►A Our patients are informed about how they can access after-hours care.
- Indicator GP1.3►B Our patients can access after-hours care.
Criterion GP2.1 – Continuous and comprehensive care
- Indicator GP2.1►B Our health service provides continuity of care.
- Indicator GP2.1►C Our health service provides comprehensive care.
Criterion GP2.2 – Follow-up systems
- Indicator GP2.2►B Our practice recalls patients who have clinically significant results.
- Indicator GP2.2►E High-risk (seriously abnormal and life-threatening) results identified outside normal opening hours are managed by our practice.
Criterion GP2.3 – Engaging with other services
- Indicator GP2.3►A Our practice collaborates with other health services to deliver comprehensive care.
Criterion GP4.1 – Infection prevention and control, including sterilisation
- Indicator GP4.1►B Our practice has a written, practice-specific policy that outlines our infection control processes.
- Indicator GP4.1►D All members of our practice team manage risks of potential cross-infection in our practice by methods that include:
- good hand hygiene practices
- the use of PPE
- triage of patients with potential communicable diseases
- safe storage and disposal of clinical waste including sharps
- safe management of blood and body fluid spills.
- Indicator GP4.1►E Our patients are informed about respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene, and precautionary techniques to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases.
Criterion GP6.1 – Maintaining vaccine potency
- Indicator GP6.1►D: Our practice has a written, practice-specific policy that outlines our cold chain processes.