Public Hospital Accreditation in Victoria
The Department of Health has promoted accreditation of acute hospitals as a significant component of its quality policy since 1993. Since 1 July 2000 all Victorian public hospitals are required to be accredited. The underpinning policy objective of mandatory accreditation is continuous maintenance of appropriate standards of care and quality improvement. Accreditation results are used to identify opportunities to improve Victoria’s healthcare system and assist with evaluating the effectiveness of statewide quality and safety strategies.
All public hospitals and health services are required to be accredited by a body or entity which has been accredited by:
- the International Society for Quality in Health Care Inc or
- the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand.
In Victoria the ten National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards apply to:
- all public hospitals, including small rural health services
- public dental services in community health services
The National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards apply to public mental health services delivered by Victorian public hospitals. It is also an expectation that public mental health services will continue to be required to be accredited against the 2010 National Standards for Mental Health Services.
Accreditation Regulatory Response
The Department of Health, Sector Performance, Quality and Rural Health, has responsibility for verifying the accreditation status of Victorian public health services and public hospitals.
The Accreditation - Performance Monitoring and Regulatory Approach Business Rules provides public health services with the Department of Health’s regulatory response to accreditation within the context of the Health Services Act 1988. The regulatory response outlines how the Department and health services address issues arising out of an accreditation survey, including ‘not met’ core actions, identification of ‘significant risks’, and health services ‘not being awarded accreditation’ following the rectification period.