The Department of Health & Human Services supports a number of continuous quality improvement (CQI) projects in community health in Victoria. These include:

  • Community Health Integrated Program (CHIP) guidelines
  • Victorian Community Health Indicators
  • Performance reporting
  • Accreditation
  • Quality of care reports

In addition, the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycle is a familiar quality framework used in community health. It is a useful tool to test and implement changes to support improvement.

These projects contribute to the quality, safety and monitoring of services provided through the Community Health Program.

CQI in health services improves people’s experience of and access to healthcare. It also improves their health outcomes. For these reasons, the department requires both organisations and practitioners across the Community Health Program to undertake CQI .

With ongoing monitoring and review, organisations and practitioners can ensure services are fit for purpose. They can also provide a positive experience of care for those using the services. Effective CQI requires a coordinated approach involving:

  • systematic monitoring and review
  • performance measurement
  • accreditation systems and processes
  • workforce skills and development
  • effective clinical and non-clinical governance
  • continuous improvement and innovation.

Part of providing a good quality service is fostering an environment that supports learning, innovation and regular evaluation. Service providers need to have values that embody a commitment to safe and high-quality care. Further, to develop a culture of quality, they need measures and interventions to sustain effective services.