DHHS Quality and Safety Standards

Quality and Safety Framework for Tasmania's DHHS Funded Community Sector

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1.0  Introduction

1.1  About the Framework

Implemented in 2009, the aim of the Quality and Safety Framework for Tasmania's DHHS Funded Community Sector (the Framework) is to support Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) funded CSOs to have systems and processes in place to deliver safe, high quality services to Tasmanian consumers.

1.2  The requirements of the Framework

Broadly, the Framework requires that:

  • DHHS funded CSOs have systems and processes in place to record and monitor continuous improvement activities against recognised standards;
  • DHHS Funding Agreement Managers (FAMs) meet with funded CSOs at least once every 12 months to discuss the continuous improvement activity occurring within CSOs DHHS funded services; and
  • The Community Sector Quality and Safety Team undertakes a review of DHHS funded services once in a three year period, or more often as required.
1.3  What are standards and why are they important?

Standards establish a common language which defines quality and safety, and actively contributes towards ensuring that products, services and systems are safe, reliable and consistently performed at an effective and sustainable level.

Standards provide:

  • the expectations of a service or product;
  • the foundation of continuous improvement;
  • the requirement for the protection of safety and human rights; thereby maximising safety for consumers and services providers;
  • a foundation for measuring performance;
  • the basis for feedback and evaluation of consumer outcomes; and
  • accountability against a range of legislative and regulatory requirements, social expectation, human rights and evidence based practice.
1.4  What standards should CSOs use?

Under the Framework, CSOs can nominate which standards they will use.  For some organisations a regulatory requirement may exist that determines which standards are applicable to them, while others will be able to self-select the state, national or international standards most relevant to the services they deliver that are funded by DHHS.

CSOs seeking guidance on standards applicable to their service type can contact their peak body, TasCOSS, a peer service / organisation or discuss this at a relevant forum.



2.0  The Standards

1  Safe Environment
Outcome

Consumers receive services in an environment that is safe.

Elements
  • Fire
  • Food
  • Medication
  • Health and Safety
Why this is important for consumers

Continuous improvement against this Standard gives consumers confidence that the services they receive are safe, and employ processes that uphold their human rights.  It also encourages consumer feedback on safety matters.

Why this is important for organisations

Continuous improvement against this Standard assists community sector organisations to provide services that minimise risk to consumers, by providing a safe working environment, meeting legislative requirements and enabling staff and volunteers to be trained to effectively respond to challenging situations.


2 Consumer Focus
Outcome

Consumers receive services that respect their rights and are responsive to their needs and desires.

Elements
  • Lifestyle and Wellbeing
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Individual Safety
  • Collaboration and Coordination
  • Rights and Responsibilities
Why this is important for consumers

Continuous improvement against this Standard gives consumers confidence that the service supports them to develop and maintain health and wellbeing, meaningful participation in activities and the community, achieve positive lifestyle outcomes, and respect for consumer choice.

Why this is important for organisations

Continuous improvement against this Standard assists community sector organisations to deliver services, and have collaborative planning processes in place, that meet the individual needs of consumers.


3 Workforce
Outcome

Consumers receive services that are provided by appropriately trained and supported staff and volunteers.

Elements
  • Recruitment
  • Workforce Diversity
  • Professional Development
  • Sustainabilty
  • Roles and Responsibilities
Why this is important for consumers

Continuous improvement against this Standard gives consumers confidence that the service employs staff and volunteers that are professional, competent and supported to effectively respond to consumer needs.

Why this is important for organisations

Continuous improvement against this Standard assists the community sector organisation's workforce to conduct themselves in a professional manner, be aware of their roles and responsibilities, and to contribute towards the achievement of the organisation's goals and a culture of ongoing learning.  It also contributes towards the satisfaction of the organisation's workforce.


4 Incidents and Feedback
Outcome

Consumers receive services from community sector organisations that appropriately manage incidents and actively seek and respond to feedback.

Elements
  • Complaints
  • Compliments
  • Incidents
Why this is important for consumers

Continuous improvement against this Standard gives consumers confidence to provide feedback regarding the services they receive. It also supports consumers to have an appropriate level of involvement in addressing incidents.

Why this is important for organisations

Continuous improvement against this Standard assists the community sector organisation to manage complaints or incidents in a respectful, consistent and transparent manner, that encourages appropriate consumer participation, and uses learned knowledge to enhance service delivery.  It also contributes to a culture where consumers are encouraged to provide feedback.


5 Consumer Information
Outcome

Consumers receive services that recognise and respect their right to have their personal information managed in an appropriately confidential manner.

Elements
  • Collection
  • Handling
  • Security
Why this is important for consumers

Continuous improvement against this Standard gives consumers confidence that their personal information is appropriately managed and that their confidentiality is respected.

Why this is important for organisations

Continuous improvement against this Standard assists community sector organisations to recognise and meet their legal and ethical obligations in respecting the rights of consumers to appropriate confidentiality.


6 Governance
Outcome

Consumers receive services that are effectively and efficiently managed.

Elements
  • Culture and Values
  • Partnership
  • Legislation and Regulation
  • Financial Reporting
  • Strategic Planning
  • Risk Management
  • Evidenced Based Decision Making
  • Communication and Engagement
Why this is important for consumers

Continuous improvement against this Standard gives consumers confidence that the services they receive are contemporary, sustainably managed, coordinated and responsive.  It also supports consumers and other stakeholders to contribute towards decision making processes and enables effective communication.

Why this is important for organisations

Continuous improvement against this Standard assists the community sector organisation to utilise robust strategic management processes and undertake its roles and functions to meet its contractual obligations and legal responsibilities.  It also contributes to the recognition that positive consumer outcomes are integral to the organisation, and recognises the importance of partnership, community engagement and consumer participation.