Accreditation and the NSQHS standards
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care ('the Commission') developed the 'National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards ('the NSQHS standards') to drive the implementation of safety and quality systems, and to improve the quality of health care across Australia. The standards provide a nationally consistent statement about the level of care consumers can expect from health services.
There are ten national standards focusing on areas that are essential to the implementation and use of safety and quality systems:
- Governance for Safety and Quality in Health Service Organisations
- Partnering with Consumers
- Preventing and Controlling Healthcare Associated Infections
- Medication Safety
- Patient Identification and Procedure Matching
- Clinical Handover
- Blood and Blood Products
- Preventing and Managing Pressure Injuries
- Recognising and Responding to Clinical Deterioration in Acute Health Care
- Preventing Falls and Harm from Falls
In 2011, all State and Territory Health Ministers endorsed the national standards and a national accreditation scheme, developed by the Commission. The Department of Health and Human Services, as the regulator for Tasmania, has since developed the Tasmanian Health Services Accreditation Framework to support the implementation of the national accreditation scheme in Tasmania.
Private health service establishments that are licenced to operate in Tasmania must be accredited by an approved industry body in accordance with the deadlines below.
The Commission's Advice Centre provides support for health service organisations, surveyors and accrediting agencies on implementation of NSQHS Standards. They can be contacted by emailing email@example.com phoning 1800 304 056. Further information regarding accreditation and the national standards, including resources for implementation and details of approved industry bodies, can be found at their website www.safetyandquality.gov.au .
For further information about the Tasmanian Health Services Accreditation Framework, and accreditation requirements, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Existing Facilities – Transitional Arrangements
All existing facilities that were licensed under the previous legislation (i.e. all Private Hospitals previously licensed under the Hospitals Act 1918) are required to be accredited to the NSQHS Standards by 1 January 2015.
Day Procedure Centres, which were previously unlicensed, are required to be accredited within two years of the date of issue of their licence. This includes being accredited to the relevant NSQHS Standards by 1 January 2015.
All new licensed health service establishments are required to be accredited under the national scheme by an approved industry body within 2 years of commencing functions. This includes being accredited to the NSQHS standards that apply to your facility.
Ongoing requirement for Accreditation
It is a condition of your licence to operate that you ensure you remain accredited. You are responsible for providing continuing evidence of your accreditation status to the Secretary (i.e. a copy of your accreditation certificate and a copy of your most recent accreditation report), and notify the department in the event that there is any change to your accreditation status.
If at any time accreditation is not maintained/there is no accreditation for a private hospital or day procedure centre (other than a 'low-risk' class of day procedure centre), and no exemption from the Secretary has been granted, the licence is taken to be cancelled.
The Health Services Regulation Management Guide outlines the steps taken by the Department in response to issues with accreditation. Further information can also be obtained by contacting email@example.com.
Health Services Regulation Management Guide