Practice Standards Audit Tool

Practice Standards Audit Tool

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WELCOME TO THE PRACTICE STANDARDS COMPANION
AND SELF-ASSESSMENT KIT

Contents:
WHAT THIS DOCUMENT IS FOR
WHY ‘PRACTICE STANDARDS'?
HOW CAN I USE THIS DOCUMENT?
USING THE KIT FOR SELF-DIRECTED CPD

USE THE KIT TO BUILD YOUR PRACTICE STAFF SKILLS


WHAT THIS DOCUMENT IS FOR

Optometry Australia produces Optometry Practice Standards to assist optometrists to provide best practice, safe, high quality eye care and eye health services.

There is no legal or registration requirement that optometry practices be formally accredited. Nonetheless, Optometry Australia believes it is important to assess and benchmark your practice and its performance. The Practice Standards were developed by Optometry Australia to support this aim.

We encourage you to use them as a guide to quality improvement, and to identify and manage risk in your optometry practice.

WHY ‘PRACTICE STANDARDS'? MY PRACTICE RUNS VERY SMOOTHLY!

Whether you are an experienced practice owner, have more recently established your practice, or want to contribute ideas to the practice you work in as an employee, you may find this assessment provides useful insights.

A literature review from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare found that when general medical practices undertake accreditation against practice standards/benchmarks, there are several reported benefits. The assessment process can improve organisational structures, encourage professional development, help identify and manage risk, and improve team cohesion and culture. It can also help market a practice.

There is a lot to keeping an optometry practice running smoothly and to a high standard on a day to day basis. Planning and review are crucial. Technology, clinical and professional knowledge, business procedures and requirements, legislation and regulation, and health funding arrangements and policies are all evolving. By undertaking this self-assessment and audit exercise, you will be able to identify ways to update, streamline and improve clinical, administrative and business systems, fill gaps in your knowledge base, and set priorities for change.

The Third Edition of the Optometry Australia Practice Standards was adopted in 2015. This assessment and audit kit is based on the current standards, the compliance criteria and the compliance indicators provided in that document. If you are not familiar with the Practice Standards, it is suggested that you consult them before using this companion document and self-assessment kit.

This companion and self-assessment kit:

      •   outlines the main principles of quality practice across the five content areas; and
      •   contains a practical ‘check list’, based on indicators in the Standards, that can be used
          to assess clinical and administrative policies, procedures and practices,
          to benchmark overall practice performance, and to identify areas for potential quality
          improvement or development.

It also includes links to helpful and important, websites, clinical guidelines, relevant legislation and additional information. This information will help you to (1) place the Practice Standards in context, and (2) provide practical examples to help your practice develop specific materials, and strengthen or update policies and procedures.

HOW CAN I USE THIS DOCUMENT?

The document is split into FIVE sections. These sections allow you to review:

      •   Patient access to services and care
      •   Physical environment, premises and facilities
      •   Business systems
      •   Patient communications, Health Records Management and
      •   Quality improvement, Continuing Professional Development and staff training

The information in each of these sections correlates to compliance criteria and indicators detailed in the Practice Standards Third Edition 2015, using a Practice Checklist system. This is a set of specific practical indicators to help you identify where you have achieved compliance with these Practice Standards, and where you may wish to concentrate any efforts, improvements, or future priorities.

As you review your own practice against these standards, you might identify specific activities or tasks that you can undertake when you identify gaps in your knowledge or areas for improvement.

Some of these learning activities may be able to be counted as self-directed Continuing Professional Development.

To assist you in identifying knowledge gaps:

      •   Interactive links are provided throughout, directing you to websites and online resources developed by
          Optometry Australia, the Optometry Board of Australia and
          relevant government or health agencies. These contain information and supporting materials about
          legislative requirements, clinical guidelines, regulatory bodies and procedures, or examples of model
          documents that you can use or adapt in your practice.
      •   At the end of each section of the document, the More Information boxes provide additional discussion
          regarding some of the key elements and indicators, and describe their importance and relevance to
          quality practice.
      •   Consider using the links and resources in the document to add to or update your Policies and
          Procedures Manual, or to put one together if you don’t already have one.

USING THE KIT FOR SELF-DIRECTED CPD

You might want to use this assessment tool as part of your self-directed learning.

Optometry Australia has provided some template documents to assist you to document your learning objectives and outcomes for the purposes of meeting the Optometry Board of Australia’s CPD Standard criteria for counting an activity towards self-directed professional development.

      •   Take the time to read through each section carefully, referring when needed to the additional
          information included in the links and resources, noting the learning objectives for each  
      •   Go through each Practice Checklist, checking the boxes online where you consider that you
           meet that indicator.
      •   Use the unchecked boxes to identify those areas where either:
           >  your practice does not meet the suggested compliance indicator (or you are uncertain whether
               you meet it); or 
           >  you do not fully understand the relevant background (e.g. you are unfamiliar with the legislative
               or clinical context or framework for a particular requirement).

    Print this list to identify specific learning activities or tasks

    Review the explanatory material and have a look at the suggested links or resources for those identified knowledge gaps (unchecked boxes).

    Use this information to develop a list of activities or strategies to achieve the goal of compliance with the criteria over time. You might want to identify some priority tasks and attach a timeline with milestones or check-ins along the way. Examples of the kinds of tasks you might undertake are provided in the self-assessment templates.

    For example, you might decide to undertake a small business course, complete occupational health and safety training, or complete training in cultural competencies for working with patients from diverse backgrounds. You might introduce a new practice procedure or policy to ensure best-practice, evidence-based infection control.

    Once you have completed a particular task, enter it into the template detailing the learning objectives and the development process. This can then be used in the event of an audit of your CPD activities by the Optometry Board of Australia.

    You can keep track of this by entering relevant details into the ‘My CPD Record’ when you are logged into the Optometry Australia website. However, as per OBA requirements, you will also need to keep the hard or electronic copy of what you have undertaken, in the event you are audited.

    View templates:

    CPD POINTS TEMPLATE: DOWNLOAD AND COMPLETE

    SEE EXAMPLE TEMPLATE

    USE THIS KIT TO BUILD YOUR PRACTICE STAFF SKILLS

    Consider undertaking some parts of this audit as an interactive staff development task. Once you’ve identified areas for improvement (e.g. introducing a new business or communication procedure, or collating material for a Policy and Procedures manual, you might set priorities for action, and allocate specific tasks to particular staff members with a timeline for implementation.

    To access the Audit Kit please log on as a member then 'Proceed to Kit'

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