Department of Health

Healthy Workers Initiative

Quality Framework  for the  Healthy Workers Initiative

Continuous Improvement

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Standard

The provider fosters and encourages the use of continuous quality improvement.
RationaleContinual review of information about program delivery and outcomes helps foster an environment where opportunities for improvement are routinely identified and acted on. Providers who set up ways to monitor the quality of the work they are doing and work to improve will continually develop into higher quality providers for their community.
Continuous Improvement CriteriaWhy/How/ResourcesSuggested Evidence
8.1 Relevant reference material is readily available to clients/participants and staff.Why:
Information, material and resources should be readily available to the workforce in order for providers to access the most recent appropriate evidence.
How:
Provide and/or promote methods for staff and participants to access information related to/or about your program (e.g. current practice, trends, innovation, case studies). This may be achieved by:
  • providing access to computers with appropriately bookmarked websites for participants and staff
  • joining the local university / council / school library
  • subscribing to industry bodies and professional journals
  • developing local interest or provider networks and support groups.
Resources:
Examples of relevant information and links
http://www.thecommunityguide.org/index.html The Community Guide, What Works to Promote Health
http://www.healthyactive.gov.au/ A Healthy and Active Australia home page
http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/ Nutrition Australia home page
Evidence may include copies of:
  • computer bookmarks or favourites to reference material websites
  • evidence of subscriptions to industry body and professional journals
  • evidence of local networks / interest / support groups

At least one of the evidence items listed and detail of how this evidence is made available to clients and staff

Continuous Improvement CriteriaWhy/How/ResourcesSuggested Evidence
8.2 Data are used to evaluate the effectiveness of programs.Why: All providers have a responsibility to ensure what they are doing is effective and matches what they set out to do.
Evaluation allows providers to honestly answer the question “do we do what we set out to do and can it be better?”
How:
Monitoring of effectiveness includes collecting information about program effectiveness and outcomes. This information may be as simple as collection of participation rates, satisfaction levels and core outcome data.
Evaluation does not have to be complex and requires at a minimum the review of defined measurements against the program’s stated objectives.
Evaluation of processes and outcomes may include:
  • formal program evaluation
  • measurement of achievement against goals by participants set at the beginning of a program versus at the end of a program
  • regular review of consumer satisfaction surveys
  • staff satisfaction surveys
  • cost effectiveness reviews
To achieve this and develop capacity to evaluate themselves, providers may decide to partner with local university students, Local Government Area (LGA) staff, health or promotion staff to gain assistance in monitoring their effectiveness.
Resources:
Resource evaluation for community programmes
http://www.health.vic.gov.au/healthpromotion/downloads/measuring_hp_impacts.pdf Measuring health promotion impacts: a guide to impact evaluation in integrated health promotion
http://www.health.vic.gov.au/healthpromotion/steps/evaluation.htm Health Promotion Evaluation
Evidence may include copies of:
  • evaluation plan
  • evidence of analysis of data
  • actions arising from this analysis


Note:
Providers that have not yet delivered their program and are seeking registration must supply an evaluation plan.

Continuous Improvement CriteriaWhy/How/ResourcesSuggested Evidence
8.3 Opportunities for improvement are identified and acted on.Why:
Providers who collect information about their activities, review their outcomes, learn from their reviews and act to improve are more likely to provide high quality, effective and efficient programs. Continuous quality improvement is the key to building the capacity of the sector and achieving greater outcomes.
How:
Improvement begins with supporting consumers, providers, funders and other stakeholders to ask questions and offer solutions about how a program can be improved. People must feel safe to do this and be provided with a variety of prompts and means to engage in improvement activities.
Once opportunities for improvement are identified, providers should record them and demonstrate how they have been considered, prioritised and acted on.
Continuous quality improvement include:
  • measuring processes and outcomes
  • reviewing these measurements by those who are able to change the program
  • identifying ways to improve
  • allocating resources dedicated to improving quality
  • providing opportunity for improvement changes to be tested, assessed and adopted
The improvement process is a continual cycle that should take place as part of “usual business” and include program users, providers, managers and other stakeholders.
Promote a culture of improvement by:
  • implementing mechanisms to gather information from the variety of program stakeholder’s, for example:
    satisfaction surveys
    suggestion boxes
    strategy meetings
    community consultation meetings.
  • sharing quality improvement project initiatives and outcomes of the program with key stakeholders, networks and other interested parties e.g. publications, newsletters’, conference presentations
  • establishing quality improvement resource files
  • gathering evidence of benchmarking against external standards with other providers.
Resources:
Quality Improvement Guide:
http://quorus.com.au/resources/ Five easy steps to improvement. Support materials to assist with the implementation of Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles within a practice improvement project.
Evidence may include:
  • program evaluation with identified improvement actions/outcomes (see also 8.2)
  • consumer/staff satisfaction survey distribution, collation, analysis, outcomes/monitoring
  • availability of a suggestion box including a workplace protocol on suggestion box advertisement and management
  • planning days, strategy meetings,
  • newsletter development and circulation.

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Published date: July 2012