RACGP launch first draft of standards for general practices
The aim of the standards is to keep pace with the changing environment and support patient safety in contemporary general practice.
The RACGP are urging GPs, practice staff and other stakeholders to read the standards and participate in the consultation.
“This first draft consultation is just that – a draft of what is a multifaceted set of requirements – and it is an opportunity for all involved in general practice to put forward their thoughts and perspectives in order to shape future drafts and the final version,” RACGP President Dr Frank R Jones said.
Dr Jones hopes some key additions to the latest draft will spur debate amongst the GP community.
“Some of the new proposed Indicators relate to the use of defibrillators in general practice, documentation of a third party in the patient’s medical record, changes to patient feedback requirements and developing a practice strategy for planning and setting goals,” Dr Jones said.
Other key changes to the edition includes a focus on outcomes and patient focused indicators.
Some of the suggestions for new indicators and newly mandatory indicators include:
Our patients can access resources translated into a language in which they are fluent.
The standards suggest having a directory of resources, services, online tools and websites that facilitate or provide resources that translate information into languages other than English.
Our patients can access up to date information about the practice. At a minimum, this information contains information on the range of services we provide
This could be done through a website or information sheet with pictures and simple language for patients who may not be able to read or understand the information.
Our patients are informed of the out-of-pocket expenses for health care they receive at our practice and potential out-of-pocket expenses for referred services
For some patients, the cost of treatment and investigations could be a barrier to care so providing information before they begin potential treatments to help them make an informed decision. If the patient indicates cost is a barrier, discuss potential alternatives such as referral to public services.
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Our clinical team considers ethical dilemmas
Situations such as end of life care, pregnancy termination and receiving gifts from patients can all be ethical dilemmas. Practices need a process to resolve ethical dilemmas in a timely way.
Our patients receive information on health promotion, illness prevention, and preventive care
Health promotion is distinct from education and helps patients improve and increase their control over their health.
Our clinical team can exercise autonomy in decisions that affect clinical care (this is now mandatory)
Practitioners can use their knowledge of evidence and their credentials to determine the appropriate clinical care for each patient and decide which specialists to refer a patient to, which investigations to order and how and when to schedule follow-up appointments.
Our practice has a policy on the use of email and social media.
The policy should contain information about password security, updating email addresses and obtaining patient consent to communicate with them via email.
Our clinical team is trained to use the practice’s equipment
Keep a training and development calendar and training log to ensure all clinical and non-clinical staff have completed the appropriate training for the practice’s equipment.
Our practice seeks feedback from the team about our quality improvement systems and the performance of these systems
Giving all members of the practice team a chance to provide feedback gives the practice team the opportunity to consider how the practice can improve.
Our practice team undertakes activities aimed at improving clinical practice
Collecting clinical data can help improve practice care but helping with practice audits, PDSA cycles and using processes to identify patients with particular medical conditions
Time-critical results identified outside normal opening hours are managed by our practice
The practice needs to have procedures in place to ensure timely receipt of seriously abnormal or life-threatening results when received outside opening hours.
Our practice initiates and manages patient reminders
Our practice tracks and logs the patients on which reusable medical instruments have been used
The practice needs to be able to trace patients and track reusable medical devices in case there is failure to follow up on sterilisation or a medico-legal issue related to sterilisation.
Our practice team is aware of the risks associated with equipment use
Our practice has a defibrillator
This is not mandatory. The standards team specifically ask whether stakeholders believe they need an automated external defibrillator (AED) in their practice.
Consultation on this draft will run until 1st April 2016 with the final version expected to be officially launched in October 2017.
To read a copy of the draft, visit the RACGP website.