ACHS recently took the opportunity to mark the occasion of its
beginnings in 1974 with the three organisations who co-founded what
was first known as 'The Australian Hospitals Standards
As ACHS President Adjunct Associate Professor Karen Linegar
noted "As Australia's oldest healthcare accreditation provider,
turning 40 is both a celebration and a time to reflect on what we
are planning for the future", she said.
"Turning 40 is a memorable event for anyone - as it is usually a
bookmark in life to stop and reflect on what has been achieved and
to also consider the future."
In looking to our future, I am very pleased tonight to announce
that the Board of ACHS has appointed a new Chief Executive, Dr
"Christine has an extensive background in safety and quality and
has worked as a senior executive in numerous roles,
most recently as Acting CEO Northern Territory Health.
Christine brings strong strategic leadership skills, knowledge and
experience to the position coupled with a high level of
engagement across the health sector."
"Christine, who will commence in her new role on 21 July, will
complement the executive staff at ACHS and continue to position
ACHS at the forefront of the safety and quality."
The three founding organisations who were responsible for
establishing what we know today as ACHS were acknowledged: the
Australian Hospital Association which we now know today as the
Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association - the AHHA
(represented by Chair of the AHHA Dr Paul Scown), the Federal
branch of the AMA (newly-elected President A/Prof Brian Owler was
an apology but was represented by ACHS Board member, AMA
representative, Professor Geoffrey Dobb), and the NSW branch of AMA
whose President, Dr Saxon Smith who was unable to attend.
A/Prof Linegar gave a potted history of the formation of the
ACHS which actually started in the 1960s when a number of
clinicians noted deficiencies that existed throughout the public
hospital system in Sydney. After a few false starts ACHS
finally came into being in 1974 to set about creating standards at
a time when the concept of patient safety and quality was not as
valued as it is today.
It was noted that ACHS has been responsible for many of the
improvements seen in patient safety and improvements in quality and
performance in healthcare over the last 40 years.
And, despite the relatively small resources to start the
organisation, ACHS battled to establish its identity and
credentials with those who mattered, and created a national sense
of ownership to promote safety and quality in the health care
A/Prof Linegar noted that "One of the strengths of the ACHS - is
that it is a national organisation, and I think that also places
its achievements in an extraordinary position when you consider we
are a federated country of states and territories and health is one
of the most complex industries. To have achieved a movement
towards a nationwide cohesion in healthcare standards is
outstanding," she said.
Key achievements over the years were noted as:
Development of a set of healthcare standards used nationally and
internationally that sets us apart from other healthcare
accreditation providers. The Evaluation and Quality
Improvement Program (EQuIP) which has made us who we are
today, giving us authority and credibility. For many members,
EQuIP provides a continuous quality improvement paradigm in their
journey of establishing safety and quality improvement initiatives
for their patients.
The Clinical Indicator Program which has been
around for nearly a quarter of a century. We have every right to be
proud of being the first country in the world to have developed and
utilised a system of 22 clinical indicator sets. We were
innovators as well as pioneers. Many countries are still
catching up and turn to us for advice on how they can establish a
similar system, and learn from us. All at ACHS are very proud
of this program.
Lastly - and by no means least - the ACHS peer
surveyors. Without our 510 surveyors here
and overseas - and thanks to the many volunteer surveyors we have
had over the years - we are deeply indebted for their time, their
efforts, and the sharing of their knowledge.
A/Prof Linegar concluded that "It is very easy to take for
granted that patient safety and quality performance are more than
just ideals, that over time they have turned into everyday
expectations. ACHS has been helping Australians and a number
of countries overseas get to this place now for four decades."
Last Review Date 03 July 2014