Our Healthcare Standards

Safe, quality health care – it’s everybody’s business 

The National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards were developed by the Commission in collaboration with the Australian Government, state and territories, the private sector, clinical experts, patients and carers. The primary aims of the NSQHS Standards are to protect the public from harm and to improve the quality of health care provision. The eight NSQHS Standards describe the level of care you should expect to receive whilst in hospital.

1. Clinical Governance 

This standard aims to ensure that there are systems in place to maintain and improve the reliability, safety and quality of health care for all consumers. This Standard recognises the importance of leadership, culture, patient safety systems, clinical performance and the patient care environment in delivering high quality care.

2. Partnering with consumers

This standard focuses on supporting our consumers, carers and/or their families to be actively involved in planning and making decisions about their care. It also supports you to be involved in the supervision and administrative decision making of our health service and evaluation of our performance. You should be aware of your right to receive high quality, safe care, as outlined on the WA Public Patient’s Hospital Charter – if you haven’t seen it please ask the staff caring for you for a copy or visit the rights and responsibilities page.

3. Preventing and controlling Healthcare Associated Infections

This standard aims to improve infection prevention and control measures to help prevent infections, and the spread of antibiotic resistance through the appropriate prescribing and use of antibiotics. Have you seen the staff caring for you or your visitors wash their hands or use hand gel? If not, ask them. Clean hands greatly reduce the spread of infection and illness. Family and friends who are unwell with colds, stomach bugs, rashes or other illnesses should not visit you.

4. Medication safety

This standard aims to ensure that clinicians safely prescribe, dispense and administer appropriate medicines, and monitor medicine use. It also aims to ensure that you are informed about medicines, and understand your own medicine needs and risks. Medicines are an important part of your treatment. Hospital staff will ask you about medications you may already be taking, both prescribed by your doctor and from the pharmacy or health store. Let staff know if you have any allergies or reactions to any medicines or foods. Before going home, ask staff for written information about your medicines.

5. Comprehensive care  

This standard aims to ensure that you receive comprehensive health care that meets your individual needs, and considers the impact of your health issues on your life and wellbeing. It also aims to ensure that risks of harm during health care are prevented and managed. Comprehensive care is the coordinated delivery of the total health care required or requested by you and that is aligned with your expressed goals of care and clinically appropriate to your needs.

6. Communicating for safety

This standard recognises that effective communication is needed throughout care delivery and identifies high-risk times when effective communication is critical. It describes the systems and processes to support effective communication at all times and to ensure correct patient identification and procedure matching; and to ensure essential information is documented in your healthcare record. Clinical handover involves sharing of information between staff involved in your care and where possible, you should be present during handover so you are involved in your health care needs.

7. Blood management

This standard aims to improve outcomes by identifying risks and using strategies that optimise and conserve a patient's own blood, as well as ensuring that any blood and blood products that patients receive are safe and appropriate. Your consent is needed before you receive blood while in hospital. Information on the risks and benefits of blood products is available for you to read and you will have an opportunity to ask questions about your treatment. Let staff know if you have ever had problems with blood products. You will be asked your name and date of birth before receiving a blood transfusion.

8. Recognising and responding to acute deterioration

This standard aims to ensure that acute deterioration in a person’s physical, mental or cognitive condition is recognised promptly and appropriate action is taken. This standard recognises that deterioration can occur at any time when a patient is in health care. It considers potential physical, mental and cognitive deterioration. Staff are trained to notice a change in your health condition. You or your visitors should SPEAK UP and tell staff if:

  • you do not feel well
  • you think your condition has changed or worsened
  • you think something has been missed
  • you are concerned about your baby.

More information

Patient First Program - A suite of patient information resources designed to educate health consumers about the health care process and potential problems that can occur with their health care so that they can be a more active, involved and informed.

NSQHS Standards for Consumers and Carers (external site) - A background to the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards (second edition) and other resources for consumers.