AMA Submission on patient safety and quality improvement in primary care

31 Jan 2018

The AMA has made a submission in response to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care Consultation Paper: Patient safety and quality improvement in primary care.

The AMA supports the development of nationally consistent safety and quality health service standards to the extent that it is intended to provide guidance to those primary care services, outside of general practice, where no similar standards or programs exist.

The AMA highlights, that when patients seek primary health care services outside the care and coordination of their GP, it is important they have some reassurance that their health care service provider utilises appropriately trained health professionals who practise within their area of expertise and scope of clinical practice, and who:

  • can correctly identify them;
  • will inform them and engage with them on care decisions;
  • provide appropriate care in a safe environment; and
  • will safeguard their personal information.

The AMA believes that, as a minimum, standards should seek to cover the following domains:

  • Access/Transparency
    • Health professional qualifications
    • Services provided
    • Information on service costs and any fees charged
  • Internal Safety and Quality
    • Triaging protocols
    • Privacy provisions
    • Infection Control practices
    • Appropriate prescribing or use of medications within their granted scope
  • Clinical Governance/Clinical Handover
    • Risk Minimisation protocols
    • Quality improvement activities
    • Transfer of care protocols and arrangements
  • Work Health Safety
    • Health provider safety – helps ensure patient safety
  • Incident Reporting/Audit
    • Patient feedback
    • Health outcomes