Clinical practice improvement is a way of improving and maintaining the quality of the care you provide and are accountable for. Put simply, you have a role to:
- Be aware of the quality, efficiency and safety of the care you provide.
- Be accountable, individually and collectively, for it.
- Continually try to improve it.
Although you may well feel you are providing a good quality service and are always trying to improve it, you also need to prove it through documented evidence that is complete and reliable. Clinical improvement (and associated tools and strategies) can be demonstrated across the following areas:
Consumer: This relates the communication and engagement of consumers. Some examples include informed consent, complaint management, patient satisfaction surveys and providing information about services to patients, their families and carers.
Clinical Performance and Evaluation: This relates to the use, monitoring and evaluation of evidence-based clinical standards such as policy, protocols, pathways and guidelines, and includes the use of clinical indicators, clinical audits or peer practice reviews.
Clinical Risk: This relates to the identification and reduction of clinical risks. It involves reporting of clinical incidents and adverse events.
Professional Development and Management: This relates to ensuring staff possess the necessary competencies to undertake their role. It includes consideration credentialing, competency standards and ongoing professional development.
Clinical Practice Improvement &You
- How are you demonstrating that you are providing quality services and working to improve them?
- Does your department/site have a clinical improvement plan?
- Does your site have a dedicated role for clinical improvement? Who is this person? How can they help you?
There are some great resources listed below to further develop your clinical improvement skills and knowledge. These include:
- Easy Guide to Clinical Practice Improvement: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals (NSW Health, 2002)
- Clinicians Toolkit for Improving Patient Care (NSW Health, 2001)
- Introduction to Quality and Safety Principles (Victorian Quality Council)