Docklands increased its community health credentials today when Victoria Harbour Medical Centre received a national award of accreditation, demonstrating its commitment to quality and safety within its practice.
Victoria Harbour Medical Centre received this important recognition from Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited (AGPAL), the leading not-for-profit provider of general practice accreditation services within Australia.
AGPAL Chair, Dr Richard Choong, said accreditation shows that the practice makes a significant investment and commitment to quality on a day-to-day basis, across all levels of the practice team.
“Achieving accreditation is a major achievement for any practice and a clear demonstration that Victoria Harbour Medical Centre is striving to improve their level of care to both patients and the community,” he said.
“Practices seek accreditation because they want to do their best and view this as another step towards excellence in patient care.”
To achieve accreditation, a practice team works over a 12-month period to implement the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for general practices. The RACGP Standards provide a recognised national benchmark for general practices and services, and a template for quality care and risk management.
The AGPAL accreditation program supports general practices across the primary healthcare sector to provide a range of minimum expectations for patients surrounding safety and care. The accreditation process involves an independent on-site assessment of the practice’s environment and their processes. Accreditation was developed jointly by AGPAL and primary health organisations and peak bodies, including the Australian Medical Association (AMA).
Areas of focus during an on-site assessment for accreditation include: ensuring vaccines are within their use-by-date and stored at the correct temperatures, that the practice’s equipment is clean and sterile, practice staff are up-to-date with their training, and the practice has emergency care available.
Dr Choong said accreditation is attainable only through cooperation and communication between staff members.
“Everyone at the practice plays a valuable role in working to meet the RACGP Standards. It gives staff a real sense of pride to work in an AGPAL accredited practice,” added Dr Choong.
Victoria Harbour Medical Centre proudly displays the AGPAL accredited symbol for all their patients to see.
“We want community members, nationwide to know that their wellbeing is our priority. By choosing to attend an AGPAL accredited practice, patients know they will get quality and safe care that meets the RACGP Standards.”
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- AGPAL accreditation evaluates the quality and safety of the practice environment, systems and processes and patient care for more than 75 per cent of general practices who choose to undergo accreditation.
- General practice accreditation within Australia is a voluntary process.
- To earn accreditation, practices must have an extensive on-site review by a team of AGPAL GP Surveyors and Co-surveyors.
- The purpose of the review is to evaluate the practice against standards set by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). To be awarded accreditation the practice must demonstrate how they meet all the standards and criteria set by the RACGP.
- Achieving accreditation covers:
- The safe and lawful use of practice equipment;
- Accessibility and availability of medical care including after-hours and emergency care;
- Staff training;
- Information technology and information security;
- The security and availability of your records and information.
- AGPAL is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, governed by a board that includes general practitioners, practice managers and consumer representatives from around Australia. AGPAL assesses practices against Standards set by the RACGP.