Primary and Community Healthcare Standards

Primary and Community Healthcare Standards

As Australia’s most comprehensive not-for-profit accreditation, certification and verification organisation, with expertise across the entire health, community and human services continuum, here at QIP, we understand the importance of supporting organisations to deliver services that focus on patient safety, care and quality improvements.

Developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission), the National Safety and Quality Primary and Community Healthcare Standards (Primary and Community Healthcare Standards) aim to improve healthcare delivery and protect the public from harm.

The Standards were officially launched on 12 October 2021, allowing health services to start implementing them at their own pace. Accreditation commenced on 1 May 2023 for health care services operating within a primary and/or community setting.

QIP is proud to be approved by the Commission as an accrediting agency under the new Primary and Community Healthcare Standards.

With over 25 years experience, QIP has developed streamlined systems and processes and a range of client-focused tools and resources to streamline the accreditation process for health services, decreasing the administrative burden often associated with accreditation.

In addition to QIP’s experience in the community and human services sectors, QIP is part of the AGPAL Group of Companies which includes, Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited (AGPAL). AGPAL is Australia’s leading provider of general practice accreditation, which provides our team with comprehensive insight into the complexities of the primary care sector.

This comprehensive experience combined with personalised support and user-friendly software systems, allows us to better support service health and community care services against the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards.

Primary and Community Healthcare Standards accreditation

Accreditation against the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards allows primary and community healthcare services to voluntarily take-action to achieve a nationally recognised framework to protect the public from harm. The aim of the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards provides patients with confidence that their healthcare service is committed to delivering and continuously improving the safety and quality of services. Although voluntary, regulators or funders of a healthcare service may mandate the need for accreditation and/or particular models of assessment.

Primary and Community Healthcare Standards eligibility

The Primary and Community Healthcare Standards apply to Australian primary healthcare and community services that are involved in the direct care of their patients and consumers.

Eligible organisations wishing to commence the accreditation process, transition from other industry frameworks or accrediting agencies can formally begin their Primary and Community Healthcare Standards accreditation journey with QIP. We encourage you to reach out to our team to discuss your individual circumstances.

How the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards apply to an organisation varies depending on the organisation's size and the risks and complexities of the services delivered. The Commission has identified the diversity in health and community care services eligible to undertake accreditation against the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards. As a result, the Commission recognises that Standards criteria may be not-applicable in some instances. Upon registration for accreditation, organisations are able to review the circumstances for not-applicable items and to apply them as required for consideration for exclusion.

Primary and Community Healthcare Standards assessment models

As an approved accreditation provider, the QIP Team is on hand to support health services throughout the varying models of assessment. The Primary and Community Healthcare Standards offer four models of assessment to ensure services can be accredited in a way that reflects their stage of readiness and engagement with the new Standards:

  • Desktop assessment (2 years)
  • Desktop assessment and virtual assessment comprising observations and interviews (3 years)
  • Desktop assessment and on-site assessment comprising observations and interviews (3 years)
  • Regulator-stipulated short-notice assessment comprising of desktop assessment and on-site assessment (3 years)

Majority of the time health services will be able to select their chosen assessment model however regulatory, contractual or licensing requirements may dictate the type of assessment methodology.

Please note: Desktop models of assessment not containing a virtual or on-site assessment are intended for accredited organisations transitioning to accreditation under the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards, and as such can only be completed for one or two assessment cycles.

Services that involve physical examinations, therapies or other patient procedures can complete a maximum of one accreditation cycle without an on-site assessment component after which a more in-depth assessment process is required.

If you’re unsure which assessment model is best for your service or you’d like discuss your individual needs, we encourage you to contact our QIP Team for a one-on-one discussion. Our team is knowledgeable in the Commission’s assessment requirements and will be able to equip you with helpful information to support you in your decision-making process.

About the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards

Development of the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards involved a comprehensive four‐year consultation process, engaging. consumers, patients, health and community care services, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander professionals and peak bodies, Primary Health Networks (PHNs), and industry representatives.

The Primary and Community Healthcare Standards were launched in October 2021 are currently in their first edition (download PDF). They have been broken down into three overarching Standards:

  • Clinical Governance Standard
    • The Clinical Governance Standard looks at the relationships and responsibilities set by a healthcare or community service provider to ensure good clinical outcomes. This Standard ensures that the accredited service can be confident in their systems to deliver safe and high-quality care while continuously improving their services.
  •  Partnering with Consumers Standard
    • The Partnering with Consumers Standard describes the systems and strategies imparted by an organisation in which their consumers are:
      • Included in shared decision-making
      • Partners in their own health care, and
      • Involved in the development and design of quality healthcare services.
  • Clinical Safety Standard
    • The Clinical Safety Standard is in place to consider specific high-risk areas of health care commonly encountered that need to be addressed and mitigated.

The Primary and Community Healthcare Standards have been aligned to other health service NSQHS Standards to improve the quality of care for Australian consumers.

If your health service is interested in further information regarding the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards or you’re ready to complete our scoping document to receive a quote for service, complete our EOI form below.

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