QIP and AGPAL take a walk in clients' shoes
In 2013 the AGPAL Group of Companies underwent it’s third cycle of accreditation against the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) International Accreditation Standards for Healthcare External Evaluation Organisations 3rd edition. ISQua is responsible for assessment against the Standards and is the only organisation to ‘accredit the accreditors’. ISQua’s accreditation program has been designed as a straightforward process that supports quality improvement
for organisations involved in health care.
Undergoing ISQua’s accreditation program was an opportunity for the AGPAL Group of Companies to benchmark itself against international best practice for accreditation in health care. It also provided a chance for staff to take a walk in our client’s shoes and experience the accreditation process first hand. The self-assessment component of our accreditation was undertaken by utilising the tools and methods our clients use throughout the accreditation process, such as AccreditationPro.
Each team had the opportunity to think about how they contributed to the achievement of the ISQua Standards, ensuring this information was included in our organisational self-assessment. This process was undertaken using AccreditationPro, which provided staff with a unique insight into the experience that our clients have, enhancing their understanding of the accreditation process. AccreditationPro plays an important role in our own accreditation journey and assisted in streamlining the collection and collation of information.
Once all teams had completed the relevant sections of the self-assessment in AccreditationPro, the Accreditation Systems team compiled all the required documents and records that would be provided as evidence of our achievement against the Standards. Our self-assessment was submitted to ISQua in July 2013.
Three international ISQua surveyors were allocated to undertake the assessment process. The ISQua team conducted a thorough desktop assessment of our self-assessment and evidence prior to conducting the on-site component of the survey. The surveyors provided feedback about the self-assessment which we found really useful.
In August 2013, the ISQua surveyors, from Canada, England and New Zealand,arrived at the Brisbane office to conduct an on-site assessment. The surveyors spent five days in the Brisbane office, validating the contents of our self-assessment. This involved further review of the evidence provided with our self-assessment as well as interviews with staff, clients and our own surveyors. Staff found the interviews to be a rewarding experience and a great opportunity to demonstrate how they contribute to the provision of a quality service to clients. The ISQua surveyors created a comfortable and supportive atmosphere and provided feedback throughout the process. An agenda was provided by the surveyors to ensure that adequate time was provided to cover each element of the Standards. The surveyors assessed:
- Strategic, operational and financial management
- Risk management and performance improvement
- Human resources management
- Information management
- Assessor management
- Assessment management, and
- Accreditation or certification awards.
The surveyors were given time to review all of their gathered evidence and summarise their findings in a presentation to AGPAL and QIP staff. Recognising the team effort made by the staff, the feedback received from the ISQua surveyors
was positive with a number of suggestions for quality improvements.
The AGPAL and QIP teams recently received their accreditation report and have been awarded with accreditation for another four years. Over the next four years the AGPAL and QIP teams look forward to making further improvements within the organisation and will continue to monitor and review their policies, procedures and service delivery to assist in creating better outcomes for our clients.