Spotlight on Quality and Safety
At NMHPV we have a strong focus on quality and safety which demonstrates our commitment to making sure that the services and programs we provide are sound, based on good practice, responsive, safe and are the best they can be. We have a dedicated quality and safety position and on a fortnightly basis we meet as a team to discuss improvements that can be made to our service, as well as discuss and analyze data from various quality improvement internal audit systems we use to make sure we are continually looking at our practice and searching for ways that will make it better.
In implementing Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), NMHPV has the following objectives as outlined in our Quality and Safety Framework:
• To embed a culture of CQI in working practices and approaches, motivating improvements in individual and collective performance
• Documenting actions to demonstrate that we have a mechanism for identifying areas for improvement and record of what has been achieved
• Developing a body of information to inform future planning
• Implementing systems of review and evaluation of data to monitor how well the organisation is performing and how it has made improvements
• Assisting to build and understand strengths and weaknesses, learning from our experiences and acting on them
• Implementing ways of benchmarking both internally and within the wider sector.
As part of this commitment to quality and safety NMHPV chooses to undertake an accreditation process as a way of having an external body look at us and what we do and determine how we rate not only internally but against other like organisations in the sector.
For the last 9 years we have successfully maintained accreditation against the Quality Improvement Council (QIC) standards. In June 2019 we undertook our third round of accreditation and have again been successful in not only being assessed as compliant against all indicators and standards, but have received commendations for our work in the following areas:
• Acknowledgment of NMHPV's MHS Award in the 2018 Mental Health Service Awards of Australia and New Zealand program for service to mental health. The organisation was awarded in the 'Assessment and/or Treatment Program or Service' category, given in recognition of the achievement of excellence, innovation and best practice in mental health services
• NMHPV's ongoing commitment to addressing family violence and our work in supporting our colleagues around this issue through our specific training of staff in recognising and responding, and provision of support and referrals to specialist services when required. Our 'Strengthening Responses to Family Violence' internal project which resulted in development of resources, a position paper and links with relevant services and stakeholders was noted as a particular achievement
• Our community and professional capacity building activities. Of note is the connection with Nurse and Midwife Support and our joint work with the Stakeholder Engagement Manager who is the formal linkage bridging the two programs.
We are exceptionally proud of the outcomes of the assessment and in the coming months will strive to implement some of the recommendations provided to us by the surveyors.
CQI is not a stagnate concept but rather requires ongoing thought and energy to keep momentum. NMHPV will continue to strive to maintain our excellent systems and frameworks already in place and look forward to working with the sector on progression into the future.