"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle
This document has been peer reviewed by Fellows of the RACP to help you find high quality CPD resources on quality and safety.
Last updated April 2017.
Resources are categorised by type:
Key organisations & websites
Professional development in Quality and Safety
Continuing to develop your quality and safety skills is essential to maintaining a high standard of patient care.
Important behaviours include:
- Adhering to accepted codes of conduct and standards of practice
- Regularly reviewing and evaluating clinical practice, medical outcomes, complications, morbidity and mortality
- Working within a defined scope of practice and demonstrating appropriate diagnostic, therapeutic and procedural skills
For further information on patterns and markers of behaviour in the area of Quality and Safety please refer to the SPPP Guide
Short on time? Try this:
1. Key Organisations & Websites
Useful as a starting point and overview of current work in this
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
This US Department of Health and Human Services website includes many resources for clinicians and policymakers.
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
The ACSQHC is a government-funded body. On their website you will find Australian standards of practice along with useful tools and resources to help you implement the standards.
Health Quality & Safety Commission New Zealand
New Zealand's Health Quality & Safety Commission works to improve health and disability support services. The website contains a range of useful resources and publications on health quality and safety.
European Union Network for Patient Safety
The Network for Patient Safety and Quality of Care (PaSQ) is a European Union funded project. The website includes comprehensive databases of clinical and patient safety practices.
Health Quality Ontario
This Canadian website includes an interactive introduction to quality improvement as well as tools to help you improve your practice in clinical and professional areas.
Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
The IHI is a US based organisation with an increasingly international focus. It works to improve health system performance, focusing on population health, the individual’s experience of care and the cost of care. They provide many free and paid resources, including online and face-to-face training.
NHS National Patient Safety Agency
This UK based website includes a wide range of resources on patient safety from the NHS including best practice guides, toolkits and data reports.
The King's Fund
The King's Fund is an independent charity, which aims to improve health and care in England. Their website provides toolkits, frameworks and readings for improving quality of care.
Useful for brief overviews of topics and recent developments
Useful for in depth, structured learning
AHHA: Face to face and online courses
The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) provides training on Lean thinking, workplace health and safety, workplace relations, hazards, aged care and more. Each course has an associated fee.
Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership Online Learning Resources
The UK based HQIP offers six online training packages on clinical audit and quality improvement. Each takes approximately two hours to complete.
Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School
The IHI Open School offers free courses on quality improvement and patient safety for a broad range of health professionals. Their website also includes a resource library and connections to local chapters.
Intermountain Healthcare Institute for Health Care Delivery Research
The Institute for Health Care Delivery Research, based in Utah, offers numerous, highly regarded courses on quality and safety in health care.
Building a Quality Health Workforce
The Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the Victorian health sector, provides high-quality learning environments for the development of the future health workforce.
NSW Clinical Excellence Commission
The CEC offers face-to-face and online training programs, including one on clinical practice improvement.
Quality and Safety MOOCs
This website lists current and upcoming massive open online courses (MOOCs) on safety in healthcare. They vary in length but generally run for one to two months, with a few hours of work each week.
Queensland University of Technology- Leadership of Safety and Quality in Healthcare
This is a four day, intensive course that aims to develop students’ ability to lead the implementation of effective quality and patient safety programs within a health care settings.
Useful for implementing what you have learned in your daily practice
5. Key Journals
Useful for keeping up to date with research and finding out more on
6. Recommended Reading
Useful for keeping up to date with research and finding out more on
Berwick, D.M., Nolan, T.W., et al. (2008) The Triple Aim: Care, Health, and Cost. Health Affairs (Project Hope) 27, 3:759-69
A paper on how to improve the US health care system, focusing on enhancements and reform across the continuum of care. It includes useful information on patient centred care and quality improvement.
van Bokhoven, M.A., Kok, G., et al. (2003) Designing a Quality Improvement Intervention: A Systematic Approach. Quality and Safety in Health Care 12, 3:215-20
This paper describes a methodology for systematically designing quality improvement interventions. It includes helpful examples for each stage, making the lengthy process more accessible.
Davidoff, F., Batalden, P., et al. (2009) Publication Guidelines for Improvement Studies in Health Care: Evolution of the SQUIRE Project. Annals of Internal Medicine 149, 9:670-76
This paper outlines the importance of publishing the results of quality and safety improvement studies and provides useful guidelines on how to do this.
Gagliardi, A.R. (2011) Tailoring Interventions: Examining the Evidence and Identifying Gaps. The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions 31, 4:276-82
This article explores ways to tailor interventions to fit a particular setting and make them more effective in improving quality of care. The findings offer direction for further research and consideration.
Grimshaw, J., McAuley, L.M., et al. (2003) Systematic Reviews of the Effectiveness of Quality Improvement Strategies and Programmes. Quality and Safety in Health Care 12, 4:298-303
This paper gives practical advice on conducting a systematic review of quality improvement strategies. It is best read with 'Audit and Feedback: Effects on Professional Practice and Healthcare Outcomes'.
Holzmueller, C.G., Pronovost, P.J (2013) Organising a Manuscript Reporting Quality Improvement or Patient Safety Research. BMJ Quality & Safety doi:10.1136
This paper offers advice on reporting quality or patient safety research for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. Each section of the paper discusses a specific manuscript component and includes common mistakes to avoid.
Pham, H.H., Bernabeo, E.C., et al. (2011) The Roles of Practice Systems and Individual Effort in Quality Performance. BMJ Quality & Safety 20, 8:704-10
A study on the relative contributions of individual ability and practice systems to quality performance. The paper argues that quality improvement efforts should not be limited to an individual physician's attitudes and capabilities but also factor in overall system improvement.
“To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System”
This book investigates the prevalence of medical error and proposes ways to address this problem. It presents a readable argument for fundamental change in the way we look at medical practice.
“Crossing the Quality Chasm”
A sister book to 'To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System', focusing on quality of care and how it can be improved along with scientific and technological advancements.
Scott, I.A., Wakefield, J. (2013) Deciding When Quality and Safety Improvement Interventions Warrant Widespread Adoption. Med J Aust; 198:408-410
This paper posits 12 criteria for evaluating if quality and safety improvement interventions reported in the literature are ready for widespread adoption on the basis of a high likelihood of successful implementation and acceptable return on investment.
Scott, I.A. (2014) Ten Clinician-Driven Strategies for Maximising Value of Australian Health Care. Aust Health Rev; 38:125-33
This widely cited paper, whose recommendations have been endorsed by the Productivity Commission, proposes ten strategies with clinical examples of how physicians can enhance value of health care in Australia.
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We thank Dr Sarah Dalton, A/Prof Grant Phelps, Professor George Rubin and A/Prof Ian Scott for their contributions to the Quality and Safety page.
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