Linking Education with Healthcare Standards
Revised September 2021
Ausmed Education has been a provider of continuing professional development for health professionals for over 30 years. Our core principle is that education is the means to continuously improve the health of the community and contributes to person-centred quality care and service.
The purpose of this position statement is to communicate Ausmed’s belief that linking education to relevant industry quality and practice Standards is an important educational tool.
The Australian healthcare sector is guided by formal industry practice and quality Standards designed by the government, professional groups and regulatory bodies and organisations. These Standards play a vital role in guiding and regulating organisational activities and are core to establishing and maintaining the quality of services. Standards of practice are continually evolving and are often used in benchmarking the performance of both an organisation and its staff.
Education plays a vital role in healthcare continuous improvement, supporting healthcare professionals to provide person-centred quality care and service. It is important therefore to ensure that the foundation of education considers any relevant Standards that individuals and organisations are required to comply with, and where possible embed these Standards in the curricula.
For approved providers of relevant healthcare services to be compliant and maintain funding arrangements they must meet these minimum National Standards of care, quality and safety. These criteria are set out in the following national Standards, which are referenced collectively as ‘Standards’ in this document.
- Aged Care Quality Standards
- NDIS Practice Standards
- The National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards
Other Standards include individual health professional regulation and discipline-specific specialty area Standards such as Standards for Practice for Mental Health Nurses and Australian Competency Standards for Paramedics. These Standards are not within the scope of this document.
Ausmed Education's position on linking education to the Standards is that:
- Organisations have clear commitments to raising the quality of care and experience they are providing to patients, clients, residents and consumers of care through educated, informed and up-to-date staff.
- When education is visibly applicable to meeting a Standard, undertaking relevant education is more likely to result in compliance with that Standard. For example, a particular Standard may be identified by an external audit or compliance report as an area or competency that needs to be addressed through education.
- Reviewing learning and compliance data linked to the Standards helps organisations preempt or identify knowledge, skill or compliance, or gaps in competency.
- Linking education to Standards helps an organisation narrow or close a specific knowledge or skill gap within their workforce through targeted educational initiatives.
- Connecting education to a Standard promotes interprofessional collaboration within an organisation by linking education with other continuous improvement initiatives such as a quality improvement project.
- Linking education and mandatory training to the Standards is just one activity that should be considered part of an overall set of activities and initiatives that help improve the quality of care and experience provided to patients, residents and consumers engaging with the service.
- Education is just one pillar of an organisation’s overall governance. Clinical governance, strong leadership, a learning culture, patient safety systems, high-performance teams and the patient/resident care environment are all required to provide high quality, safe and effective care.
In support of its position, Ausmed Education:
- Has developed the functionality to link any educational activity to one or more national Standards (Aged Care Quality Standards, NDIS Practice Standards, The National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards)
- Allows organisations to find, preview and assign education to one or more staff based on a particular Standard.
- Has developed reporting capabilities for organisations to communicate to relevant regulatory bodies (such as, during a quality assessment/audit) that the organisation is responding to identified areas of need/Standards that are required to be addressed.
- Commits to developing the functionality to link educational activities to new national Standards as they are introduced as well as existing Standards that are updated.
Tikkanen, R, Osborn,R, Mossialos, E, Djordjevic, A, & Wharton, G. International Health Care System Profiles: Australia. June 5, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.commonwealthfund.org/international-health-policy-center/countries/australia.
Burrill, G. (2019) Creating a culture of excellence: How healthcare leaders can build and sustain continuous improvement. Published by KPMG. Retrieved from https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/insights/2019/01/continuous-quality-improvement-in-health.html
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare - Australia's health 2018. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/63fe0895-b306-4375-95ff-162149ffc34b/aihw-aus-221-chapter-2-1.pdf.aspx
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (2021). National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (second edition) - Clinical Governance Standard. Retrieved from https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/our-work/clinical-governance/clinical-governance-standard
Ausmed Education Pty Ltd 2021