National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards
The National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards were developed and are governed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) as part of the Australian Health Service Safety and Quality Accreditation (AHSSQA) Scheme. The NSQHS Standards and AHSSQA Scheme are designed to deliver a consistent level of safe and high-quality care across health services in Australia.
The AHSSQA Scheme aims to provide national coordination of accreditation processes across Australian health service organisations. To achieve accreditation as part of the AHSSQA Scheme, health services are independently assessed against the NSQHS Standards.
For some organisations, accreditation is a voluntary process; however, accreditation against the NSQHS Standards is compulsory for all Australian hospitals, licenced day procedure services and the majority of public dental services, as well as NSW cosmetic medical and surgical facilities.
QIP is approved by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care as an accrediting agency under the AHSSQA Scheme. With personalised support and practical resources, QIP's accreditation process is streamlined, ensuring your health service spends more time focusing on patients and high-quality healthcare delivery.
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NSQHS Standards overview
The NSQHS Standards were developed by the Commission to drive the implementation of safety and quality systems, and improvements to the quality of healthcare in Australia. The NSQHS Standards provide a mechanism to enable the systematic review of complex systems and a way of tracking changes in the safety and quality of patient care.
The NSQHS Standards provide a nationally consistent statement about the level of care consumers can expect from health service organisations across Australia.
The NSQHS Standards aim to:
- Protect the public from harm
- Improve the quality of health service provision
- Provide a quality assurance mechanism that tests whether relevant systems are in place
- Ensure that minimum standards of safety and quality are met, and
- Provide a quality improvement mechanism that allows health services to realise aspirational or developmental goals.
NSQHS Standards (second edition)
The second edition of the NSQHS Standards provides a mechanism to enable the systematic review of complex health service organisations’ systems and a way of tracking the quality and safety of patient care. They provide a nationally consistent statement about the level of care consumers can expect from health service organisations across Australia.
Accreditation against the NSQHS Standards (second edition) commenced 1 January 2019.
The Commission developed and released the NSQHS Standards (second edition) in November 2017 after undertaking a comprehensive review of the AHSSQA Scheme and made changes to the accreditation process.
The NSQHS Standards (second edition) addresses important gaps identified in the first edition including mental health and cognitive impairment, health literacy, end-of-life care, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. The Commission advises that the intended purpose of the revised Standards is to make them easier to understand and implement; however, the bar for assessments of health service organisations has been raised.
The second edition is clearer than its predecessor with duplication reduced through consolidation of relevant standards and actions. The second edition comprises a more streamlined eight standards and 148 actions, compared to the first edition’s ten standards and 256 actions.
The eight NSQHS Standards (second edition) include:
- 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.
Who is the NSQHS Standards applicable to?
All hospitals, licenced day procedure services, most public dental services across Australia, and licenced cosmetic medical and surgical facilities in New South Wales are required to be accredited to the NSQHS Standards.
Additionally, QIP provides NSQHS Standards frameworks for a variety of allied and specialised health service providers across Australia to reassure patients and consumers of their high standards of safety and quality.
In some instances, in addition to the NSQHS Standards, private health service organisations will need to confirm their requirements for accreditation to other standards with their relevant jurisdictional health department.
How QIP supports organisations
Dedicated and personalised support
QIP Client Liaison team - QIP has a team of professionally trained Client Liaison Officers on hand to answer any questions clients may have about accreditation. With expert knowledge of the Standards, evidence requirements and the self-assessment process, QIP’s Client Liaison Officers are dedicated to providing clients with on-going support throughout their accreditation cycle.
QIP’s accreditation hub
The QIP accreditation hub is an online platform tailored to each client’s individual accreditation timelines and framework requirements. It includes a personalised action plan, a resource library and a number of other features to support clients throughout their accreditation journey.
Access to AccreditationPro
QIP’s online self-assessment software – ‘AccreditationPro’ streamlines accreditation preparation by helping clients determine their organisation’s compliance with an applicable set of Standards
Access to online resources and education
QbAY – QIP’s online resource and education library provides clients with access to a range of practical, informative and customisable resources to support organisations in complying with the relevant industry Standards
Regular news and e-newsletters
QIP publishes an electronic e-newsletter distributed exclusively to our clients. Each publication keeps our clients up-to-date with industry and organisational news, as well as helpful tips relating to accreditation and the Standards. Specific e-bulletins are distributed if urgent accreditation updates are released, advising of any changes to processes, systems, Standards or evidence requirements.
Highly trained assessment teams
QIP’s Assessors are highly trained and qualified peer assessors who work across the Australian health, community and human services sectors. Our team will share their knowledge and support organisations through the accreditation assessment.
Celebrating the achievement of accreditation
Achieving QIP accreditation takes dedication, team work and a commitment to continuous quality improvement. When organisations achieve their accredited, certificated or verified status, they are provided with their own 'Promotional Toolkit' filled with a number of materials to celebrate and promote this achievement. The QIP Accredited Symbol is one way consumers and local community can be reassured that an organisation has been recognised for their commitment to delivering a safe and quality-focused service.