Input and feedback sought for new healthcare standards review

15 September, 2009

Consumers, healthcare professionals, industry bodies and the broader community are among those invited to provide feedback on the accreditation standards used by the majority of Australian hospitals and healthcare organisations.

The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) undertakes a comprehensive standards review and consultation process at least every four years to inform the development of any changes to our accreditation program.

The ACHS uses a collaborative approach to standards development that lasts approximately two years.

ACHS is an independent, not-for-profit accreditation body which develops standards with industry and consumers to help healthcare organisations improve their performance and the quality of care.

“External and independent review is considered international best-practice for many industries, including healthcare,” commented ACHS Chief Executive, Brian Johnston.

The ACHS Evaluation and Quality Improvement Program (EQuIP) was launched in 1996. The current edition of the standards, EQuIP 4, was introduced in January 2007 and has increased the focus on consumer participation in healthcare and the need to provide evidence for clinical and organisational outcomes.

“A thorough consultation helps ensure our standards remain current, continue to reflect best practice and are evidence-based and achievable.

“The purpose of accreditation is not to review against a checklist but to provide a thorough and realistic roadmap for improvement and help organisations establish a culture that strives for excellence,” Johnston concluded.

It is a testament to the EQuIP 4 standards that international organisations in India, the Middle East and Hong Kong have actively sought accreditation against them.

ACHS invites all interested parties to comment on the draft standards, criteria and elements. Feedback during this stage of the consultation is requested by 28 September 2009.