Accreditation a great team result

Wimmera Health Care Group has gained one of its highest achievements to date after receiving accreditation for Acute services under the new National Standards.

The Wimmera’s largest health organisation was assessed recently against the second edition of the National Safety and Quality Health Standards. Services covered by the accreditation include dental, rehabilitation, inpatients, emergency, dialysis and oncology.

The second edition addressed gaps identified in the first edition, including mental health, cognitive impairment, health literacy, end-of-life care and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

WHCG director of Clinical Risk, Improvement and Innovation Sally Taylor said the accreditation was the result of a complete team performance across the organisation.

“When there are new standards applied, there is always a level of uncertainty in the first year that they are used for assessment,” Ms Taylor said.

“We only received three recommendations which makes it even more pleasing,” she said.

“It was a great team effort and everybody has worked hard to implement the changes associated with the new version of the Standards and this has improved the safety and quality of the care we provide.”

WHCG Quality manager Leanne Seipolt was also impressed with the team commitment.

“It was not just our clinical staff but administration, laundry, kitchen and everyone in our Horsham and Dimboola campuses just pulled together as a team to get this outcome,” Ms Seipolt said.

She said National Standards assessment was to simply ensure patient safety and that everyone had the best experience possible when using WHCG services.

“The assessors were on site for four days and covered all areas in that time, including clinical governance, patient safety, blood management, the patient journey, medication management and infection control..

“They were very thorough. They spent about 60 percent of their time in the wards and would turn up in different departments unannounced.

“They interviewed community members, talked to patients and team members. One assessor followed a patient journey through theatre to check our policies and procedures.

“It was a great experience for all the staff because the assessors spent so much time on the floor with them and they were really open and honest throughout.”

The second edition of the NSQHS Standards comprises eight standards. Clinical Governance and Partnering with Consumers Standards combine to form the clinical governance framework for all health service organisations. They support and integrate with all the clinical standards, which cover specific areas of patient care.

WHCG had team leads for each of the standards that helped to ensure that all of the required actions were implemented.

The eight standards are clinical governance, partnering with consumers, preventing and controlling healthcare-associated infection, medication safety, comprehensive care, communicating for safety, blood management and recognising and responding to acute deterioration.