Embedding Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) into Aboriginal Primary Health care is one of the key reforms approved by the NT Aboriginal Health Forum which is responsible for the expansion and reform of the primary health care system as part of EHSDI (Expanding Health Service Delivery Initiative). The NT CQI program will provide capacity within primary health care by funding CQI Facilitators to work with primary health care services in each Health Service Delivery Area. The CQI Facilitators will be supported and mentored by two CQI Coordinator positions located with AMSANT (in Darwin and Alice Springs).
The Governance of the CQI program is through a CQI Planning Committee which includes clinicians with interest and expertise in CQI. The NT CQI Program includes CQI principles, a framework and elements which provide a practical approach to support both the Aboriginal Community Controlled and the NT Government health services in implementing CQI. The CQI focus is on improvement in health service delivery to further achieve Aboriginal health outcomes. The CQI Program will support the implementation of the various quality initiatives being undertaken across all health services, bringing these initiatives together, providing a consistent approach to promote clinical quality improvement across the Territory but with flexibility for adaption to local needs.
Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is about responding to the question
“How can we do this better?”
The NT CQI Program aims to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people through applying continuous quality improvement approaches, and building a culture of CQI within health service delivery. What is CQI and how are we going to do this? CQI Facilitators will assist health service staff in improving organisational processes, using tools and techniques to assist in the identification of opportunities for improvement, action planning, measuring and monitoring improvements. A number of key elements are needed to build and embed a CQI culture across NT Aboriginal PHC. Empowering staff to identify opportunities for improvements and to take a multidisciplinary team approach in problem solving and taking action, at the same time ensuring CQI is patient centered, driven by information and organised for safety. (Three core principles of the Australian Safety and Quality Framework for Health Care.