Our Response

To our ACHS family,

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the world, this is a time of even greater focus on supporting our patients, families, and wider communities.

We know that our valued members are playing a crucial role in Australia at the front line of healthcare delivery in this extraordinary time. We are focused on continuing to deliver your high levels of service and support throughout this period of change with minimal disruption.

As your trusted quality improvement partner, we have developed this Resource Centre to consolidate helpful resources and guidance to support your efforts to keep your staff, patients, and communities safe. We will update this frequently to ensure you are provided with the latest information to assist your organisation.

We have also advised our network that all in-person activities and onsite accreditation assessments will be postponed for the foreseeable future. This is to ensure everyone’s safety and to focus frontline healthcare professional’s full efforts to addressing the impacts of COVID-19.

Please be reassured that we are thinking of all our members and their various needs during this time and are available for support and advice whenever needed.

Our members come first so please do not hesitate to contact us at achs@achs.org.au or by calling 02 9281 9955.

Thank you for your ongoing dedication to patient safety and quality improvement. Stay safe.

Yours sincerely,

 

Dr Karen Luxford

ACHS Chief Executive Officer

 

Important Information

ACHS has taken the following precautions to mitigate the risk of potential spread of COVID-19 in line with advice from the Australian and international healthcare authorities:

Events & Meetings

All in-person meetings and events, whether inside or outside of the ACHS offices, will be conducted remotely, if possible, using phone or video conferencing and/or online communications until further notice.

Accreditation Assessments

All onsite assessments have been postponed whilst we are in the response phase of COVID-19 and will be rescheduled after we enter the recovery phase. The recovery phase of COVID-19 will be determined by the Commonwealth. Please note that your membership and current accreditation status will not be impacted during this time.

Improvement Academy

All Public and Custom workshops and programs have been postponed until September 2020. We are currently rescheduling all our cancelled events and preparing our calendar of events for the upcoming 18 months. In addition we will be offering some short webinar courses during this period of no face-to-face contact. There will be more updates  available once these webinars are ready for release. 

Assessor Network

All Assessor Competency Training (ACT) programs, Update Forums, and Refresher Courses have been postponed until further notice and will be moved online as appropriate.

The ACHS Assessor Division will maintain regular contact with our Assessors throughout the period and should you need to contact any member of that team please email assessors@achs.org.au

Our Staff

ACHS has implemented a work-from-home policy for all employees who are now performing their functions remotely, and all business travel is suspended until further notice. Our services and support of our members have not been interrupted during this time.

With these precautionary measures and business contingency plans in place, please be assured that ACHS is doing all that we can to continue delivering services in a safe manner consistent with latest advice and guidance.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this rapidly evolving, unprecedented event. 

Webinars

  • Preparing Your Business for COVID – offered by BDO Australia – watch here
  • International Council of Nurses (ICN) COVID Update Webinars – watch here
  • Promoting Patient Safety at the time of COVID-19 - watch here  

Training Courses

  • COVID-19 Infection Control Training (Australian Department of Health) – register here
  • World Health Organization (WHO) Training – register here

Resources

Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) National Guidelines for public health units – view here

COVID-19 Cases Map (Johns Hopkins) – view here

WHO COVID-19 Pandemic Page - view here

Clinical Guidelines

  • Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) Resources – review here
  • Australian & New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) Resources – review here

Research paper – Global Centre for Modern Ageing – sign up here

Visit the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare’s FAQ on updates re: COVID-19 pandemic and accreditation here

Card view - Patient Safety recommendations for COVID-19 viewere here

 Healthcare Professionals

Posters & Graphics

  • NSW Health COVID Resources – review here (available in multiple languages)
  • Australian Department of Health
    • Know The Signs – download here
    • Stop The Spread – download here

FAQs

Members

  • Is my membership or accreditation status affected due to assessment delays?

No, your membership or accreditation status will not be affected by our onsite assessment delays. If your membership or accreditation status is close to expiring, our team will communicate with you directly regarding procedures to extend these timelines as appropriate.

  • Are offsite assessments continuing?

Yes, there may be special circumstances that will require an assessment to be undertaken remotely. This will be conducted via desktop and using technology such as Zoom or Skype.

All EQuIP SASS (Self Assessment Support Service) are continuing as normal and have not been delayed. Please continue supplying information into the Electronic Assessment Tool (EAT) to meet the requirements of your SASS.

  • Where can I go for help and further assistance?

You can contact the ACHS Team as normal at achs@achs.org.au or by calling 02 9281 9955 for further assistance. Alternatively, you can contact your Customer Services Manager via email or their direct office phone line.                                                                      

Products & Services

  • Are there any changes to the assessment process for NSQHS Standards, in response to COVID-19?

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) are responsible for determining changes to the assessment process and decisions regarding accreditation extensions. The ACSQHC are communicating regularly with accrediting agencies. ACHS Customer Services Managers are regularly communicating any updates to accreditation members. ACHS Assessor Division are regularly communicating any updates to assessors.

  • Are there any changes to the Clinical Indicator program in response to COVID-19?

Due to the timing of the clinical indicator submissions, there will be no planned changes to the current submission closure date of 20 August 2020. Extensions to the submissions deadline will apply as normal. The reports of data from the previous submission closing 20 February 2020 will be available in early April 2020.

Although all clinical indicator staff are working from home, the program is currently operating as normal.

General Information

  • What is a coronavirus and COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses known to cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). This new coronavirus originated in Hubei Province, China and the disease caused by the virus is named COVID-19

  • How is coronavirus spread?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person.

COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:

  • close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared
  • close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes
  • breathing in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets
  • touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face

‘Close contact’ means having face-to-face contact for more than 15 minutes with someone who has a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) or alternatively sharing a closed space with them for more than two hours

  • What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are like other colds and flus and include:

  • fever
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • tiredness
  • difficulty breathing.

While coronavirus is of concern, it is important to remember that most people displaying these symptoms may be suffering with a cold or other respiratory illness – not coronavirus.

  • How can we help to prevent the spread of coronavirus?

Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and keeping your distance from others (social distancing) is the best defence against most viruses. You should:

  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet
  • cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people)
  • exercise personal responsibility for social distancing measures.

What is social distancing and why is it important?

Social distancing includes ways to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. It means less contacts between you and other people. Social distancing is important because COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:

  • direct close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared
  • close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes, or
  • touching objects or surfaces (such as doorknobs or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

So, the more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread.

  • Who is most at risk?

People who are more at risk of serious illness if they get the virus are:

  • people with compromised immune systems (e.g., cancer)
  • elderly people
  • indigenous groups
  • people with chronic medical conditions
  • people in group residential settings
  • very young children and babies

Disclaimer

ACHS development of this Resource Centre and placement of content on this website is not an endorsement of the source nor of any particular product or service, nor should it be construed as a statement that the source, or its products or services, are superior to those of other companies. Website users acknowledge ACHS may not be the primary source of the content. By accessing and using website resources, website users agree to make no claim of any kind against ACHS for any and all damages that result from use or implementation of any Resource Centre content. Some items included on these pages were developed several years ago. While much of the content remains relevant, users should be aware that the information has not been updated. Resource Centre visitors should continue to refer to their State / country-specific guidelines and resources.


Last Review Date 30 April 2020

We have developed a very good working relationship with ACHS and the team on the whole are very engaged and responsive to our requirements.

ACHS member response to survey
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