Below is a description of the ways in which an Aboriginal community controlled health service can engage with other services to provide good healthcare for its patients and community. 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 health service is proactive in identifying external services within its region with whom it could work to enhance patient care and improve the health and wellbeing of the community. These services go beyond healthcare providers and extend to schools, housing and employment agencies, sports clubs and social workers. The health service tries to build good working relationships with all these other services.
The health service holds regular meetings with all the key external services it works with, so that issues and opportunities common to all can be discussed.
Many staff within the health service are responsible for maintaining contact with the external services, as appropriate to their role and responsibilities. Where appropriate – for example, if there are personnel changes or a new service or program developed by the external agency – the staff member will report that back to the health service, so that records can be updated.
Some of the external services with whom the health service has developed a strong relationship now partner with the health service on various activities. For example, they might undertake training together, share resources such as meeting rooms or jointly deliver a preventive health workshop to the community.
Key details of each external agency are recorded on an electronic and paper-based register of services, which the practice manager reviews and updates at the end of each quarter. The paper-based register includes clinical services as well as local organisations with which the service deals, and is located at the reception desk. The electronic register is incorporated into the clinical software program. Individual staff members add to the register when new services/organisations are used.
The Medicare Local list of practitioners, specialists and allied health providers is also kept at the reception desk for easy reference, along with the roster of on-call pharmacies. This allows staff to let patients know which pharmacy is available on weekends.
The remote clinic has the 24-hour contact details for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and standardised forms for transfer of patients out of the community.
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.