Key messages

  • All Victorian public health services are subject to the Victorian health incident management policy.
  • The policy supports the implementation of an incident management review process.
  • The policy advises Victorian health services on how to identify, manage and review incidents.

The Victorian health incident management policy instructs health services on establishing an incident management review process consistent with their clinical governance policy, and with the national quality and safety standards proposed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

The policy

Scope

All Victorian publicly funded health services and agencies are subject to the Victorian health incident management policy. Its services include:

  • public health services and all services under their governance structure
  • registered community health services
  • Ambulance Victoria
  • Royal District Nursing Service
  • Ballarat District Nursing and Healthcare
  • bush nursing centres (publicly funded)
  • Forensicare (Thomas Embling Hospital)
  • incorporated residential aged care services (publicly funded). 


This policy excludes private health services and non-government organisations.

Purpose

The purpose of the policy is to:

  • provide governance that clearly outlines individual, health service and departmental responsibilities in incident management
  • ensure consistency in the approach to incident management across Victorian publicly funded health services
  • provide a system that facilitates the identification, reporting, reviewing, monitoring and evaluation of all incidents in a timely and effective manner
  • ensure those involved in, or affected by, incidents receive appropriate assistance and support
  • ensure organisational learning from incidents, including near-miss events and system failures, to mitigate future risk
  • increase awareness of reporting requirements and related legislation.

Principles

The policy is underpinned by the following principles:

  • Obligation to act - key stakeholders acknowledge and understand their roles and responsibilities in the incident management.
  • Just culture - incidents are reported and acknowledged without fear of blame or retribution and individuals are treated fairly in an open and honest manner.
  • Prioritisation of action - investigation of incidents is prioritised by the health service in order to facilitate timely and effective reviews of high impact incidents.
  • Emphasis on learning - a focus on learning from incidents as a means to improve the quality and safety of care across Victorian publicly funded health services.

The policy guide

The Victorian health incident management policy guide is to be read in conjunction with the Victorian health incident management policy.

The policy guide helps health services and agencies and their staff to identify, manage and review incidents as they occur across the public healthcare system.

The guide covers three sections:

  • incident management roles and responsibilities
  • incident management process
  • incident severity rating.

Contact details

  • Quality and Safety Branch

    Department of Health & Human Services

    Postal address: GPO Box 4541, Melbourne VIC 3001

    • Telephone Number:+61 3 9096 7258