Quality Assurance, Quality Improvement and Research Audit definitions and associated application forms have been retired and replaced by the following guiding principles to ensure proportionate review via one of two review pathways:
- Research Office Review Pathway (process managed by Austin Health Office for Research)
- Clinical Governance Improvement Pathway (process managed by Austin Health Safety & Quality Office).
Please contact the Research Office to discuss your project prior to submission so we can advise on the process at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research Office Review Pathway
If your project has a research output and isn’t a clinical trial using drugs or medical devices,
Or if you require an acknowledgement letter for publication purposes.
You will need to
- escalate projects to the correct level of review without asking researchers to complete a further set of forms. This review pathway allows projects to go from single to multi-site with fewer issues.
- Where Austin is the lead site, we are also trialling partially executing agreements so that the agreement can be submitted at the same time. Please note the Austin Health Office for Research will advise you on the best agreement to use, please do not submit an agreement with your application.
- add any waiver of consent approvals to our approval letters. This will help speed up Site Specific Authorisation for Multi-Site projects
Clinical Governance Improvement Review Pathway
Improvement in healthcare can be defined as ‘the combined and unceasing efforts of everyone to make the changes that will lead to better patient outcomes (health), better system performance (care) and better professional development (learning)’ (Batalden and Davidoff, 2007). This is achieved by an organised process that evaluates, assesses and seeks to improve an aspect of a Health’s service delivery to patients and community.
There are six dimensions of quality in health care that we may target for improvement (Victorian Department of Health, 2005):
Improvement activities that fit within this framework are to be reviewed via the relevant Clinical Governance Improvement Processes, generally outlined by the Austin Health Quality and Safety Office on The Pulse.
Activities that are covered under the Clinical Governance Improvement Review Pathway include:
- Activities that do not require an acknowledgment letter for publication purposes.
- Activities involving the collection, use and disclosure of health, personal and sensitive information for the purpose of funding, management, planning, monitoring improvement or evaluation of a single Health Service. Common activities include sentinel event monitoring, incident monitoring, root cause analysis, medical record review and clinical audit.
- Activities involving staff, patients, and members of the community to assess one or more of the six dimensions of quality healthcare.
- The proposed Clinical Governance Improvement activity will only involve staff from the same Health Service (including students on clinical placement at the same Health Service).
- There is an existing departmental mechanism for oversight of Clinical Governance Improvement activities and these activities are registered via the process outlined at the Health Service.
- There is no intention to present or publish the results in a forum External, to the Health Service.
- Health Services cannot grant Clinical Governance Improvement (formerly referred to as Quality Assurance/Improvement) Registration/Authorisation/Approval to any organisations external the Health Service where the activity is being conducted. If the activity involves multiple organisations, then it is recommended you proceed with a multi-site research application via the appropriate research pathway.
If your activity fulfils these criteria contact the check the intranet for Clinical Governance Improvement Processes.
The following were accessed and used in the development of this guidance material