Why is the Australian Safety and Quality Framework for Health Care important?


The Australian Safety and Quality Framework for Health Care is a Framework that outlines a vision for the high-quality and safe healthcare for Australians.

According to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, there has been an increase in the awareness of, and investment in, the safety and quality of Australian healthcare services over the past 17 years. However, the reach of this change has not been uniform, and many initiatives have proven to be unsustainable.

This means that although Australia does have a high-quality healthcare system, patients and their families cannot always rely on their healthcare system to be safe. In fact, many patients still do not receive the recommended care, and preventable issues still occur.

These issues reinforce the need for a long-term, sustainable safety and quality solutions to be integrated into Australia’s healthcare system. Integrating technology (such as Clinical Decision Support Systems) and increasing knowledge and awareness through the Framework can create a permanent shift in the improvement of healthcare quality and safety.

In order to achieve this level of care, the Framework works on three core principles:

1. Consumer-Centred Healthcare

A consumer-centred approach means that patients are able to get the help they need, when they need it. It ensures that healthcare staff are respectful and responsive when it comes to a patient’s needs, choices, and values. This approach also forms dedicated partnerships between patients, families, carers, and healthcare providers.

2. Information-Driven Healthcare

Information-driven healthcare requires the use of current evidence and knowledge to guide a medical professional’s decisions about a patient’s care. It ensures that safety and high-quality data are collected, analysed and fed back to the necessary parties for any improvement. It also involves taking any necessary actions to improve the patient’s experience.

3. Safety-Organised Healthcare

This principle requires medical professionals to make safety a central feature in how the facilities function, how staff operate, and how funding is organised. Patients should know that their healthcare provider is taking their safety seriously. Furthermore, if anything does go wrong, the necessary actions will be taken to ensure this does not happen to someone else.

To read more about the Australian Safety and Quality Framework for Health Care, or to see what this means for both patients and health providers, please click here.