December 4, 2023

#ReadyAnytime for accreditation

Accreditation is a formal process whereby an independent team of healthcare professionals assess the quality and safety of services provided against best practice standards. Accreditation is undertaken every three years, and Northern Health’s last accreditation assessment was in 2021.

All Victorian public health services, including Northern Health, must undergo regular assessments to maintain their accreditation through the Australian Health Service Safety and Quality Accreditation Scheme (AHSSQA).

An accreditation assessment involves an on-site visit by assessors who are independent of the health service. They look for evidence that each action in the Standards has been implemented. It is a requirement to be accredited to operate as a health facility.

In 2024, Northern Health will undergo an onsite Short Notice Assessment by the Australian Council on Health Service Standards (ACHS). This means, for our next Accreditation, we will be given 24 hours’ notice of an assessment. This assessment will be completed prior to 5 June 2024.

All transitioned mental health services will be included in the survey apart from the aged residential services, which will be surveyed under the Aged Care Standards by the Aged Care Commission.

Kilmore District Health had a successful accreditation assessment in March 2023. Due to the amalgamation, they will be included in our next short notice accreditation assessment to ensure that all Northern Health sites that come under the National Standards are assessed at the same time to align our accreditation cycle.

Maree Glynn, Director of Clinical Practice Improvement, said quality and safety was everyone’s responsibility.

“Everyone has a role to make sure that care given to patients, families and people visiting our organisation is the best it can be, and that we have the right culture where quality and safety is valued,” she said.

To ensure Northern Health is #ReadyAnytime for accreditation, staff are encouraged to:

  • Follow Northern Health policies and procedures on PROMPT.
  • Identify and report incident and near misses/risks/hazards to your manager and enter into Riskman (VHIMS) – if you see something, say something.
  • Undertake your mandatory training including an annual performance appraisal.
  • Participate in quality and safety improvements in your work area.
  • Be respectful and inclusive of patient’s needs and include them in all decisions about their care and treatment.

At an individual level, staff need to understand what their role is, and which Standards are relevant to them. If you are unsure, your manager will be able to help you.

For more information, please visit the Intranet.

Upcoming Mock Survey

To help the organisation prepare for upcoming Accreditation, a short notice ‘mock survey’ is being planned for the month of December.

This will give Northern Health an independent view of our compliance in practice with the National Standards and identify any areas of risk that may require our focus.

The organisation will be given 24 hours’ notice of the mock survey, to replicate a short notice survey as much as possible.