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The importance of cyber and data security – discover our ‘Top 4 Tips’

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Cyber threats are feeling closer to home than ever before with more than 150 countries targeted in the largest known virtual software attack in mid-May, impacting and holding ransom to more than 200,000 individual systems.[1] The greatest impact has been seen in the United Kingdom, with the National Health Service forced to cancel hospital operations, deter patients from presenting in E&T and diversion of ambulances from facilities struggling to cope, after computer access to patient files, scans and test results became frozen and inaccessible. Hospitals, general practices and allied health services were forced to shut down when access to patient records were unobtainable and prescription of medicines was near impossible.[2]

In 2012, hackers undertook an attack on Miami Family Medical Centre, located on the Gold Coast, encrypting data and demanding $4,000 in ransom to release all systems. Although back-up disks and practice programs were corrupted, the functioning back-up system which was not connected to the server ensured all data was retrieved with no records stolen.[3]

Following the peak of this global attack, the Australian Federal Government has confirmed three private businesses have been affected, stressing the importance of information security on computer systems and maintenance of antivirus software to protect against likely future attacks.

The attack exploited vulnerability in Microsoft Windows’ infrastructure infiltrating a software bug into those systems which had not been upgraded, after a repair patch was released in March of this year. The major issue highlighted by this occurrence is the limited understanding of IT infrastructure and security requirements by organisational staff.

As health care providers, computer systems play a central role in day-to-day activities within a practice setting and hold a wealth of personal and sensitive information regarding your patient population. With the looming threat of more cyber attacks set to occur in our digital world, this malicious incident indicates that now is the time to review your current computer security systems, backups and processes to ensure your practice is protected from a pending attack.

AGPAL and QIP’s IT team have identified the top 4 tips to start mitigating your risk when it comes to cyber-attacks and computer and data security.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For more information regarding your accreditation requirements or the topics outlined in this feature, please contact our QIP team, call 1300 888 329 or email info@qip.com.au.

 

Celebrating World Accreditation Day 2017 with the ISQua Fellowship Internship Programme

Friday 9 June marks World Accreditation Day 2017, a global initiative to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation.

The AGPAL Group of Companies acknowledge that achieving accreditation takes dedication, team work and a commitment to continuous quality improvement.

Organisations that undergo accreditation commit themselves to a comprehensive program which involves their team reviewing the organisation systems and processes, prior to an independent on-site assessment conducted by dedicated surveyors and assessors.

In an effort to set the benchmark for accreditation and healthcare quality on an international scale, the AGPAL Group of Companies is pleased to again be supporting the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) Fellowship Internship Programme (the Program). The Program offers opportunities designed to stimulate thought and innovation, instil competence and confidence, and encourage best practice around the world.

We will host four interns, two at a time, for two weeks, starting in September 2017, when we will be joined by Dr Shazia Aman, from Pakistan, and Dr Umesh Gupta, from Papua New Guinea. Then in November we will welcome Dr Syed Sajid Ahmed, from Qatar, and Dr Wesam Mansour, from Egypt.

The 2017 Program comes after the success of the inaugural placement of ISQua interns. In 2016 we welcomed two interns, Girish Swaminathan, NSW, and Dr Tamer Farahat, Dubai, who were provided first-hand experience of the processes and systems of Australian healthcare accreditation throughout the duration of their two month stay with the AGPAL Group of Companies.

We look forward to sharing our interns’ experience with you later this year!

 

Read about the 2016 ISQua Fellowship Programme

  • To listen to ISQua’s interview with Girish Swaminathan about his experience as an intern with AGPAL and QIP in 2016, click here.
  • To read about Dr Tamer Farahat’s experience as an intern with AGPAL and QIP in 2016, click here.
  • More information regarding the ISQua Fellowship Internship Programme can be found here.

 

AGPAL and QIP Conference 2018 – the countdown has begun!

The countdown has begun, only one year to go!

SAVE THE DATE for the AGPAL and QIP Conference, taking place in Melbourne from 17 to 19 May 2018.

Join us as we celebrate AGPALs 21st birthday, the release of the RACGP 5th edition Standards, QIC Standards 7th edition, plus much more!

Visit our official 2018 Conference website below to register your interest at www.agpalqipconference.com.au

Consultation on resources to support the NSQHS Standards (second edition)

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) is seeking feedback on draft resources to support the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards (second edition) via public consultation until mid-to-late May 2017.

The Standards, along with drafted resources to assist with preparing for and implementing systems and processes for assessment against the Standards, are planned to be launched in November 2017 by the Commission. Assessments against the new edition of the Standards will commence in January 2019.

Draft resources and consultation dates

The consultation period closes on 19 May 2017 for the following resources:

NSQHS Standards (second edition) guide for hospitals

NSQHS Standards (second edition) accreditation workbook for hospitals

The consultation process closes on 24 May 2017 for the following resources:

NSQHS Standards (second edition) guide for day procedure services

NSQHS Standards (second edition) guide for multi-purpose services and small rural hospitals

Be sure to review the relevant documentation and provide your feedback to input into the development of the new Standards and associated resources.

For any queries relating to these documents of the review process, contact the NSQHS via:
E: NSQHSStandards@safetyandquality.gov.au

P: 1800 304 056.

This information has been retrieved from:
https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/our-work/assessment-to-the-nsqhs-standards/national-standards-program-updates-and-consultations/

Adelaide HOW2 Training – Rainbow Tick

Does your organisation have aspirations to increase inclusivity and celebrate diversity?

The HOW2 create lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) inclusive services program provides practical support to enable organisations to work towards these goals.  Four sessions held six weeks apart provides participants with increased knowledge and capacity in:

  1. Auditing your service
  2. Consulting consumers
  3. Educating colleagues
  4. Developing and implementing an action plan
  5. Managing obstacles
  6. Evaluating changes

This program, presented by SHine SA, is based on the Rainbow Tick national standards developed by Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria (GLHV), in conjunction with QIP (Quality, Innovation & Performance).

For more information or to secure your attendance please contact Holley Skene (holley.skene@shinesa.org.au or 08 8300 5325) or visit www.shinesa.org.au/courses/how2/)

QIP 2017 Russell Renhard Scholarship Recipients Announced

With a large number of high calibre submissions, our judging panel has now made their decision and we are proud to announce our 2017 QIP Russell Renhard Scholarship recipient.

We would have liked to support numerous organisations with the progression of their nominated project as it was extremely challenging for our judging panel to select a Scholarship recipient, as many of the projects have the potential to significantly improve community health and wellbeing.

For this reason our judging panel have awarded one organisation the 2017 QIP Russell Renhard Scholarship and identified a second organisation as an additional recipient. Annie North, from Bendigo Victoria, is our 2017 QIP Russell Renhard Scholarship recipient and Cobaw Community Health, from Kyneton Victoria, has also been recognised as part of the Scholarship process.

Russell Renhard was a pioneer in the development of quality improvement and capacity building approaches within health and community organisations across Australia. Throughout his career Russell dedicated his effort and expertise to addressing social justice, and supporting systems-based approaches, promoting access to quality services for all.

The Russell Renhard Scholarship honours the significant contribution made by Russell to health and social services, accreditation and continuous quality improvement. This Scholarship allows a legacy to be created for celebrating Russell’s life as well as recognising contributions to causes Russell felt so passionately about.

Annie North will keep us up-to-date with the progress of their project, which will see them develop a purpose built secure women’s refuge facility, driven by a new model of response to women and children fleeing family violence. The model will be captured and documented so that effective monitoring and evaluation can occur along with further enhancements, with an ultimate aim of sharing and implementing this model across other industry agencies.

Cobaw Community Health have also received a small amount of funding to support their project ‘Sharing the Wisdom of Families’ as they seek to recognise the lived experience of families experiencing complex challenges in their lives as a tool for change – for individuals, for families and for organisations.

Please refer to upcoming editions of QIP’s Community Insight, website and social media channels for updates regarding the work being undertaken by these two community organisations as part of the QIP Russell Renhard Scholarship.

Exceeding Expectations in the QIC Standards

There are four levels of attainment used when assessing an organisation against the Quality Improvement Council (QIC) Standards. These attainment levels provide an overall rating for each Standard and comprise of exceeded, met, met in part and not met.

An organisation has exceeded the Standard if:

  1. MET rating descriptors have been achieved; AND
  2. Routine review and evaluation occur, including the use of findings to drive continuous improvement; AND
  3. Comprehensive use of currently recognised good practice supporting positive outcomes, occurs; AND
  4. Formal recognition has been received for achievements; OR
  5. Contribution to learning and innovation in the external environment has occurred; OR
  6. Participation in a recognised benchmarking process has occurred.

When completing accreditation all QIC Standards must be met, however an exceeded rating can be achieved against any of the 18 QIC Standards. Often clients will achieve one or two exceeded ratings, which is always very exciting for our Quality Innovation Performance (QIP) staff to see.

QIP would like to congratulate Centacare Catholic Family Services Archdiocese of Adelaide (Centacare SA) who recently completed their sixth round of accreditation against the QIC Standards. Six rounds of accreditation is an achievement in itself, as it takes a great deal of time and effort to complete, yet during their recent accreditation assessment, Centacare accomplished exceeded ratings against seven of the QIC Standards.

Centacare SA is the official community service agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide that delivers responsive, flexible and effective services to the South Australian community without regard to religion, race, culture or economic circumstance. Programs are offered in a range of sectors including disability, family, youth and children, health and well being, employment, education and training, homelessness and domestic violence located in Adelaide metropolitan, suburban and regional areas of South Australia.

The QIC Standards that were exceeded by Centacare SA are:

  • Standard 1.2 Management systems
  • Standard 1.9 Safety and Quality integration
  • Standard 2.2 Focusing on positive outcomes
  • Standard 2.4 Confirming consumer rights
  • Standard 3.2 Collaboration and strategic positioning
  • Standard 3.3 Incorporation of and contribution to good practice
  • Standard 3.4 Community and professional capacity building

While in South Australia later in March 2017, Dr Stephen Clark, AGPAL Group CEO, will be stopping by Centacare SA to personally present their accreditation certificate. In the lead up to this exciting time, we interviewed Jenny Hanlon, Centacare Catholic Services Executive Manager, Systems Improvement to find out more about this incredible achievement.

QIP: What does achieving these exceeded ratings mean to Centacare?
Jenny:
The validation by external reviewers that we are indeed achieving beyond requirements is significant feedback. It gives not only us but our clients, funders and other stakeholder’s confidence in Centacare as a provider of choice for high quality services to the community. It is an acknowledgement of the efforts of all staff within Centacare and their commitment to the culture of quality, which has the client at the centre of all that we do. The fact that the exceeded ratings were spread evenly across all sections of the standards, confirms we have a good balance in our efforts to ensure we are a strong and sustainable organisation.

QIP: During the six rounds of accreditation, the organisation has clearly implemented ongoing quality improvements; can you tell us what some of those are?
Jenny:
We are a very different organisation now to what we were when we first commenced the QIC Standards and Accreditation Program in 2001. In this time, every aspect of our organisation has been subject to quality improvements. Over the years we have worked to embed the culture of quality and continuous improvement across all levels of the organisation and have implemented countless quality improvements.

The fact we have an active Quality Program with a sustainable and ongoing structure, which engages and involves staff at all levels within the organisation, ensures improvements will continue to occur.

QIP: What do you value most about the accreditation process?|
Jenny:
At Centacare, we view ourselves as a learning organisation and welcome feedback as an opportunity to make improvements. This feedback can come from a range of sources including clients, stakeholders, and staff or via research, evaluation, complaints and audits.

The accreditation process provides an opportunity for reflection during the self-assessment phase, and by ensuring we are open and transparent during the external review phase we are provided with valuable insights into our organisation by independent external reviewers.

Accreditation is a formal recognition and we value that the review process validates areas where we are doing well as well as identifies areas where we can improve based on good practice.

QIP: What advice or words of encouragement would you give to other community or health organisations looking to exceed in their accreditation?
Jenny:
We don’t set out to exceed in our accreditation, rather we aim to ensure all aspects of our organisation are authentic and of the highest quality. This is assisted by using a systems approach including good governance and corporate systems to ensure we are a strong and sustainable organisation, systems for the delivery of high quality client centred services and systems for stakeholder and consumer engagement and sector and regional partnerships. We have a comprehensive set of documents including policies and procedures which describe the various systems and are subject to continual review.

A great set of policies and systems is worth little if staff are not engaged and committed to the quality program and are not supported to focus on the best model of operation to provide quality outcomes for clients.

My advice based on our experience with implementing a quality program for accreditation is to ensure the CEO and leadership team actively support and engage in the quality program.

It is important to clearly identify who is accountable and responsible for leading the quality program and ensure they are of a level which promotes the importance of the program and enables influence. Adequate resources must also be allocated as it is quite labour intensive to maintain a quality program. The QIC Standards provide a great framework and the implementation of a strong systems approach supports requirements. Ensuring structures and processes for reviewing is built into all aspects is necessary to ensure continuous improvement. It is critical those structures and processes engage staff to embed a culture of quality.

QIP: A particular highlight for Centacare SA was Section 3 – Sustaining quality external relationships where three of the four standards were exceeded, did you do anything in particular for this section?
Jenny:
I think it is a combination of several factors and not any one thing in particular. To promote the culture of positive quality stakeholder relationships we have clear documentation of the expectations of stakeholder collaboration and engagement, CQI processes are in place for planning and review of stakeholder involvement as are structures for meaningful stakeholder participation.

A key KPI within position descriptions across all levels of staff includes the demonstration of collaborative work practices with all stakeholders. This was demonstrated with the compelling evidence provided to the review team by the service delivery staff of their collaboration and partnerships they have with other stakeholders to maximise the resources in the community, to achieve outcomes for clients and the community, and to shape service responses that address identified needs in a creative way. The review team applauded Centacare’s staff who step up and play leadership roles through managing services and programs, through participating in activities that lead to improvement, by mentoring and supporting one another, by working together effectively internally and with other partners, and through a focus on positive outcomes.

QIP: What role does accreditation play for your organisation to assist such a wide range of sectors and people in the community?
Jenny:
Accreditation provides us with a mandate which ensures we continue to evolve and grow as an organisation.

To find out more about Centacare, visit www.centacare.org.au

AGPAL and QIP sponsor 2017 AAPM Practice Manager of the Year Awards

AGPAL and QIP are once again proud and excited to sponsor the AAPM Practice Manager of the Year Awards and this year the 2017 AAPM National Practice Manager of the Year will receive a $5,000 travel voucher to spend on a well-deserved getaway!

Each 2017 AAPM State Practice Manager of the Year Award winner will receive flights, accommodation and registration for the 2017 National Conference in Perth. The recipient of each State Practice Manager of the Year Award automatically becomes a finalist for the National Practice Manager of the Year Award.

Nominations for the 2017 AAPM Practice Manager of the Year Awards are open to all AAPM Members across medical, specialist, dental or allied health practice management. Please note additional eligibility criteria applies, click here for more information.

How to nominate

Practice Managers can self-nominate or be nominated by practice owners, principals, and colleagues.

Once a Practice Manager is nominated they will invited to complete the online Application Form. If self-nominating, simply complete the Application Form without waiting to be nominated by someone else.

Start recognising the outstanding contributions made by a Practice Manager you know! CLICK HERE to commence the nominations process today as applications close Wednesday 31 May 2017.

For further details regarding the AAPM 2017 Practice Manager of the Year Awards, selection criteria and eligibility requirements visit the AAPM Website by clicking here.

National Model Clinical Governance Framework in Development

In late December 2016, the Australian Commission for Quality in Health Care (the Commission) advised their plans to develop a national model clinical governance framework to be used by clinicians, managers, executives, governing bodies and state and territory departments of health as a guide to support effective corporate governance and improve the safety and quality of care. The Commission have based the clinical governance framework is based on the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards,  in particular the Clinical Governance for Health Service Organisations Standard and the Partnering with Consumers Standard.

Clinical governance ensures accountability and transparency across all disciplines of health care, supporting staff to ensure patients and the community receive high standards of quality care and service provision, and quality improvements are continuously reviewed, monitored and implemented.

Good clinical governance ensures that the community and the health service organisation can be confident that systems are in place to deliver safe and high-quality care and continuously improve services.

A high-level advisory panel has been formed to advise the Commission in developing the framework, comprising senior clinicians, health service executives, representatives from health service boards, jurisdictional representatives and other experts. The panel is chaired by Ms Wendy Harris QC, a member of the Commission’s Board.

The framework will help ensure that patients receive safe and high-quality care, and that the community is confident in the delivery of that care.

The framework will be supported by additional resources for specific target audiences including members of governing bodies such as boards, clinicians and consumers.

For further information and updates visit www.safetyandquality.gov.au.

Please note: the information published in this article has been obtained from the Commission’s 21 December 2016 e-newsletter.

Seasons Greetings from the QIP Team

qip-christmas

On behalf of the Quality Innovation Performance (QIP) team, we would like to thank you and your entire team for your continued commitment to QIP throughout 2016.

We would like to extend our best wishes to you, your staff, family and friends. We hope your festive season and New Year is a joyful, relaxing and happy one.

To share in the gift of giving, QIP will make a donation to Mind Australia, Australia’s leading non-government provider of mental health and psychosocial disability support services. This year Mind Australia supported 11,500 Australians whose lives were disrupted by mental health, including their families are carers by providing a range of residential and community services.

If you would like to pledge your own support to Mind Australia, visit their website at www.mindaustralia.org.au.

Office Christmas Hours
Please note that the QIP offices will be closed from midday Friday 23 December 2016 and will reopen on Tuesday 3 January 2017.

If you have an urgent query during this time please call 1300 888 329 (QIP Health) or 1300 820 152 (QIP) Community) for further details.

We look forward to working with you again in 2017.