Standards for general practices

Core module

Criterion C5.1 – Diagnosis and management of health issues

        1. 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.

C5.1 B Our clinical team supports consistent diagnosis and management of our patients.

Why this is important

Clinical guidelines provide important recommendations for clinical care and must be accessible to practitioners, so that your practice can achieve consistent and tailored healthcare based on community and patient demographics.

Applying clinical guidelines consistently helps to:

  • provide consistency in diagnosis and management of health issues
  • reduce variation of care between clinicians
  • provide continuity of care of each patient
  • give the patient clear and consistent messages about their health issues and treatment.

In addition, patients value consistency in the quality of treatment and advice given by different practitioners in your practice.

Meeting this Criterion

You need to make sure that clinical guidelines are current, based on best available evidence, and are accessible, either online or in hard copy. This includes maintaining a current version of the clinical software databases that include drugs guides, medical dictionaries, coding classifications, and information about consumer medicine.

When clinical teams discuss clinical care, they must refer to and consider the best available evidence, to ensure their clinical care aligns with best practice.

In some instances, ‘best practice’ may involve doing more than adhering to current clinical guidelines. For example, good communication between members of the clinical team can help to achieve a consistent approach to clinical care. While it is better for the clinical team to have face-to-face meetings, communication tools such as message systems and notice boards can be useful to raise and address clinical issues.

Meeting each Indicator

C5.1 A Our clinical team is able to access relevant current clinical and other guidelines that help diagnose and manage our patients.

You must:

  • have current, best evidence and accurate clinical guidelines available in electronic and/or hard copy for the practice team to access.

You could:

  • have regular team meetings or group emails about clinical topics, and document the topics of discussion and the decisions made
  • join local networks, if available, to discuss clinical issues.

C5.1 B Our clinical team supports consistent diagnosis and management of our patients.

You must:

  • have current, best evidence and accurate clinical guidelines available in electronic and/or hard copy for the practice team to access.

You could:

  • keep records of clinical team meetings when the use of clinical guidelines was discussed
  • have clinical team members discuss the care of patients with other team members, while ensuring patient confidentiality
  • educate the practice team so that they can find and use resources and guidelines
  • keep records that show what evidence-based resources and guidelines the practice team uses
  • establish and maintain a system that the practice team uses to pass on messages to other team members (eg a communication book, internal mail or email system)
  • use relevant clinical guidelines for treating patients who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, and for preventing and managing chronic diseases in these patients.

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