I. The objective of the standards is to

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Last updated: September 23, 2019


Introduction The Australian Government andhealth service providers are committed on the provision of safe and qualitycare in healthcare facilities, in the like manner as it is of prime importanceto the patient themselves (AIHW, 2016).  Nevertheless, since no singlehealthcare system is faultless, according to statistics, one out of tenpatients was inadvertently harmed in the course of their treatment inAustralian healthcare facilities due to various causes (ACSQHC, 2012). The weak structure of thehealth system paved the way for the transformation of the healthcare deliveryin Australia through the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS)Standards by the Australian Commission on Safety and Qualityin Health Care (ACSQHC or theCommission) together with the efforts of numerous stakeholders (ACSQHC, 2014b). The second edition of theNSQHS has eight established standards; but this essay will focus on preventingand controlling healthcare-associated infections, medication safety,communication for safety, blood management, and recognizing and responding toacutedeterioration (ACSQHC, 2017). II.

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Discussion In 2005, the AustralianHealth Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) faced a faulty system of healthcarenationwide manifested by the high-risk provision of care (ACSQHC, 2014b). Upon evaluation, theassessment exposed that the safety and quality accreditation in Australia wasdisorganized, complicated and requires an extensive amount of resources to befully executed (ACSQHC, 2014a). Programs for accreditation aswell as standards were ineffective, as it does not involve clinicalpractitioners making it inefficient in enhancing the quality and safety ofservices (ACSQHC, 2014b). Furthermore, pertinentinformation is not readily accessible to health consumers and relevantauthorities apart from operational details such as accreditation period ofhealthcare facilities (ACSQHC, 2014a).  The existing status of theservices, safety, and quality of health service provision are nonexistent dueto non-transparent accreditation outcomes (ACSQHC, 2014a).

 Consequently, in 2008, theHealth Ministers were determined to advocate a uniform set of standards insafety and quality that is applicable across health services which gave birthto the National Safety and Quality Health Services (NSQHS) Standardsestablished by the Commission (ACSQHC, 2014b). The NSQHS Standards are theresult of extensive deliberations, exhaustive investigations, round-tablediscussions, and consultations among technical experts, the Commission’sstanding committee, the public, jurisdictions, and consumers along with others(ACSQHC, 2014a). The objective of thestandards is to be consistent across Australia through the application ofevidence-based, safe and excellent health service; it also serves to be a modelof comparison for various types of service, states, and different health sectors(ACSQHC, 2014b).  The principal bases for thestandards are evidence of patient harm, availability of more effectivepolicies, and the existence of a variety of clinical practice; hence the systemcan still be improved (ACSQHC, 2014b).

 The NSQHS Standards targetareas that involve patient harm frequently and evidence show that enhancedinterventions could improve the healthcare delivery (ACSQHC, 2014b). The following are thespecific principles to be implemented to achieve the goals of the NSQHSStandards (ACSQHC, 2017): Standard 3, the Preventingand Controlling Healthcare-Associated Infections Standard, aims to: minimizethe potential harm caused by infections contracted in the healthcare setting,manage infections efficiently should it arise, and curb the spread ofresistance to antibiotics through the antimicrobial stewardship (ACSQHC, 2017). Management systems areestablished for the prevention and control of infection in various healthcaresettings as well as to enhance antimicrobial stewardship to achieve these goals(ACSQHC, 2017).  Policies that areevidence-based are also designed and executed for the prompt identification andmanagement of patients exhibiting signs and symptoms of infection orcolonization with significant organisms (ACSQHC, 2017). For this reason, all healthservice organizations are to maintain cleanliness at all times includingcompliance with the latest practice and national guidelines in the processingof reusable medical instruments and equipment (ACSQHC, 2017).   Moreover, the utilization ofthe antimicrobial stewardship program across healthcare organizations allowsthe proper and safe use of antibiotics (ACSQHC, 2017).

 The Medication SafetyStandard, or Standard 4, intends to secure that prescription, dispensing, andadministering of right medicine are by clinically competent clinician only.Patients are also aimed to be educated on the risks and benefits of eachmedication to ensure understanding (ACSQHC, 2017). The criteria set by theCommission to meet the goals of Standard 4 encompass the development of aprocess for the safe purchase, storage, manufacture, prescription,distribution, administration and surveillance of the result of medication use(ACSQHC, 2017). In addition, healthcarefacilities must have an available record of patients’ medication historyincluding details about known adverse and allergic reactions (ACSQHC, 2017).Clinicians analyze thisinformation to be able to educate patients about risks and benefits (ACSQHC,2017).

 Lastly, continuity of medicationmanagement is ensured through the provision of medication list to patients andfor use in a clinical handover (ACSQHC, 2017).                             

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