Margret Banks, Director of the National Standards Program with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has led the development and implementation of both editions of the NSQHS Standards and a supporting program of systematic accreditation reform across the Australian health system writes and provides insiight into the evolution of NSQHS Standards (Second Edition)
Since inception and launch the NSQHS Standards have been directly correlated to reducing the rates of healthcare associated infection, deaths due to deterioration in physical condition and adverse drug reactions to name a few improvements.
The purpose of the NSQHS standards is to improve the quality of health service provision within Australia and as of the 1st January 2019 assessment against standards (second edition) are now required by health services.
NSQHS Standards (second edition) are an evolution in the NSQHS (first edition) standards which address gaps in the first edition which include;
- Mental health and cognitive impairment
- Health literacy
- End-of-life care
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
The second edition of NSQHS Standards also consolidates standards and actions (10 standards and 256 actions in first edition are now 8 standards and 148 actions in the second edition) with the aim of simplification and targeted assessment. While progression in regulatory standards demonstrates the learnings and continual improvement in the broader healthcare community and is always encouraged, the simplification of the standards however, directly impacts the significant investment already made by healthcare organisations in collecting, assessing and reporting on standards first edition.
On close inspection of the NSQHS Standards (second edition) additional effort is now required by healthcare providers to report on overlapping areas of standards which is a direct conflict to the commonly applied approach of measuring compliance, success or failure with the % of Yes verses % of No responses. The processes and tools used to collect simple Yes or No responses are no longer suitable.
Compounding this is a pending application of aged care quality standards (second edition) which are effective 1st July 2019, meaning many Australian healthcare providers must now uplift and juggle both standards uplifts across their quality and assurance programs
Australian Standards frameworks and regulatory oversight requirements are shifting from collecting paperwork, reviewing documentation and administrative processes into a complex information gathering, interpretation and reporting environment. The big question is are you ready and do your systems and processes cater this evolving landscape?
This is where QC-Healthcare is ready to help. Unlike form builders, excel or survey money based solutions which offer no performance or risk based insight, QC Healthcare includes an extensive audit, performance and risk engine which allows quality and assurance programs to configure, digitally collect audit information and report on audit results, risk exposure and performance outcomes in real time.
This world’s first further enables healthcare organisations, regions, states and the country to baseline performance against standards irrespective of the healthcare services provided or the questions asked.
Feel free to contact the QC Team who are ready to help.