Quality in Health Care

AWH aims for the highest standard of quality healthcare for its patients and clients while supporting a dynamic workforce for the growing community.

The Best of Health is our vision, and improved health outcomes our priority. 

Our aim is to lead a culture of safety to achieve continuous quality improvement across all our health services. The AWH Board of Directors, Executives and Managers, Clinicians and staff apply the principles of clinical governance in the delivery of high quality healthcare.

To ensure we continue to provide high quality and safe care to our consumers, the AWH Clinical Safety and Quality Unit values and encourages the delivery of appropriate, effective and person-centred care, and this is outlined in our Consumer and Community Engagement Framework and the Clinical Governance Framework. 

Our guiding principles underpinning clinical governance at AWH are: 

A compelling vision A compelling vision for safety and quality at AWH is articulated via:

  • AWH Organisational Values and Employee Code of Conduct.
  • AWH Patient Experience Statements.
  • Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights.
  • AWH Strategic Plan.
  • The AWH Enterprise Risk Framework.
  • AWH Business Plan and Statement of Priorities.
  • AWH Quality Plan.

Clear leadership and accountability There is clear accountability and ownership displayed by all staff, regardless of their role and function. Leaders have a thorough understanding of the principles and behaviours of a just culture and are committed to teaching and modelling them.

A just culture The organisational culture and systems are designed to facilitate the pursuit of safety and quality by demonstrating trust, showing respect and promoting inclusion. Staff are encouraged to raise concerns if there is perceived threat of harm to staff and patients.

Consumer-centred  care The health consumer is the primary focus of our model of care. Care that focuses on the relationship between a patient and a clinician, relies on trust, mutual respect and sharing of knowledge for achieving best health outcomes. AWH implements and monitors safety and quality priorities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and other Diverse and High Risk Groups.

Effective planning and decision-making Service planning and resource allocation decisions always consider the impact on safety and quality. The voice of the consumer is actively sought and facilitated for improving the delivery of care.

Skilled clinical care The delivery of safe and quality care is underpinned by appropriately credentialed and highly skilled clinicians and staff. Staff have access to regular training, guidance documents and educational resources to enhance their required skill set. 

Continuous improvement of care The quality of health care is measured in a systematic manner with a focus on data to minimise inappropriate variation and incidents, and to guide continuous improvement of care and services. Pertinent and robust data is effectively understood and informs decision-making and improvement strategies across all areas of care. 

Accreditation We uphold and aim to exceed the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS). The assessing agency is the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS).  We achieved a three-year accreditation in November 2020 which is an important foundation from which we deliver health services to the cross-border community.

Blackwood Cottage (residential care for the over 65s) and our Community Health Services, is accredited by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.  

Our quality improvement program

Through ongoing dynamics of work and the identification of risk we strive for continuous improvement in how we deliver safe quality healthcare. We monitor variance in clinical care and use performance indicators in order to identify opportunities for improvement.

Various methods and tools are used to create a positive sustainable change. 

Feedback from consumers and carers also contributes to our quality improvement program giving unique insights to the experience of care. You can provide feedback here.

Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights 

The Charter describes what consumers, or someone they care for, can expect when receiving health care.

A copy can be found here Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

Read our latest Quality Account

AWH Quality Account 2020-21

The National Safety and Quality Health Service

The National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS) provide a nationally consistent statement of the level of care consumers can expect from health service organisations. The eight standards are:

Clinical Governance, which describes the clinical governance, and safety and quality systems that are required to maintain and improve the reliability, safety and quality of health care, and improve health outcomes for patients.  

Partnering with Consumers, which describes the systems and strategies to create a person-centred health system by including patients in shared decision making, to ensure that patients are partners in their own care, and that consumers are involved in the development and design of quality health care.

Preventing and Controlling Healthcare-Associated Infection, which describes the system and strategies to prevent infection, to manage infections effectively when they occur, and to limit the development of antimicrobial resistance through prudent use of antimicrobials, as part of effective antimicrobial stewardship.

Medication Safety, which describes the systems and strategies to ensure that clinicians safely prescribe, dispense and administer appropriate medicines to informed patients, and monitor use of the medicines

Comprehensive Care, which describes the integrated screening, assessment and risk identification processes of developing an individualised care plan, to prevent and minimise the risk of harm in identified areas. 

Communicating for Safety, which describes the systems and strategies for effective communication between patients, carers and families, multidisciplinary teams and clinicians, and across the health service organisation.

Blood Management, which describes the systems and strategies for the safe, appropriate, efficient and effective care of patients’ own blood, as well as other supplies of blood and blood products. 

Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration, which describes the systems and processes to respond effectively to patients when their physical, mental or cognitive condition deteriorates.