Criteria 2 – Quality and Safety in the Australian health care system
Question: In section 2, do I have to speak about quality and safety in general, or in relation to
our chosen standard?
Answer: Section 2 requires critical discussion of the quality and safety of the
healthcare system in general. You are not required to discuss your specific
standard in this section.
This section is asking you to critically discuss how quality and safety work to
improve the cares and treatment a patient receives when they present to a
health care organisation. In other words, your focus should be on how quality
and safety in health care are connected to promote the best outcomes for
patients. A health care organisation is in the business of providing patients
treatment and improving patients health, so you should discuss how quality and
safety play a role in ensuring this happens.
Criteria 3 – Clinical care activity
Question: What would be considered appropriate to choose as a clinical care activity?
Answer: A clinical care activity is any practice that is put into place in order to
improve the nursing care of the specific standard. It is better to discuss something
that goes above and beyond the basic nursing practice – for example the 5 moments
of hand hygiene would be easier to discuss than simply hand hygiene – but as long
as it is relevant for your standard and works to improve the quality of care provided,
it is appropriate.
Question: I am unsure whether I have chosen an appropriate clinical care activity. For
example, am I able to state 6 rights of medication administration as my clinical care activity
for Standard Four – Medication Safety?
A few suggestions for you when you are choosing an appropriate clinical care activity:
1) Must be a clinical activity that relates to quality improvement. You need to justify
why your chosen care activity is important for your chosen standard. For example,
why correctly complete the adult deterioration detection system (ADDS) chart is
important for improvement of Standard 8.
2) Read widely to develop good understanding around your chosen clinical care activity
and the specific needs for quality improvement in your chosen area. This will help you
to decide whether you should take a broader or more specific approach as well as
strengthen your argument in your topic.
3) Choosing an appropriate clinical care activity is part of the assessment, which
means you have to make your judgement and provide justification. We cannot tell
what quality improvement is involved from the above question. So if you are not sure
if your clinical activity is appropriate, you will need to read widely to develop your
understanding of the clinical activity, chosen standard and support your justification
with evidence from the literature.
Criteria 4 – Driven by information
Question: What is process and outcome data?
Answer: As part of the essay criteria is to define process and outcome data, and give
an example of it, it falls to you to actually present this information. However if you
look into the Donabedian Model – utilise the reference we supplied in the mini
lecture on the National Safety and Quality in Health Services (NSQHS) Standards in
Module 4.1 – you will find the information needed to set the groundwork to discuss
it. Once you have a better understanding of what it is, you can then start finding
appropriate literature to support you discussion (there is plenty available) and then
relate it back to your chosen standard through use of an example. It is important to
focus on the type of data rather than the process itself.
Question: Should I be discussing the information in relation to the standard I discussed in
Answer: When providing an example of process and outcome data, it would be
best to discuss your chosen standard and clinical care activity – doing this will
demonstrate your knowledge of the subject of this and of process and outcome
Question: Where it says a critical discussion of how process and outcome data could be
collected, analysed and fed back for improvements. Are we analysing the data we collected
from an example?
This question is asking “how”, so you need to address how the process and outcome
data are collected in relation the examples you provided in criterion 4.1. Then, briefly
discuss how those data can be analysed in general, i.e. methods of data analysis to
generate results and fed back for improvement. Please bear in mind that this is not a
research course, so do not use too many words from your word count on explaining
data analysis. The expectations are for you to demonstrate that you understand and
are able to apply the concepts of the quality improvement cycle.
Referencing, writing and presentation guidelines
Question: With the referencing section, am I able to use government websites?
Answer: While you are able to utilise government websites, or ‘grey literature’, we
encourage you to use of an extensive range of relevant evidence-based and
authoritative resources (journal articles, websites and textbooks). You will require 15
scholarly literature, which you will find when researching journal articles related to
Quality and Safety in Healthcare, your chosen standard and the related clinical care
activity, and process and outcome data relevant to that standard. Please note that if
you choose to utilise sources such as government websites, you should avoid relying
on it for information and referencing it extensively, and instead focus on your
Question: How recent does the literature I use have to be?
Answer: Any literature from 2016 onwards is appropriate to use (including 2016). You
are also allowed to use Donabedian’s (1988) article in section 4. It is also strongly
recommended as you are taking the time to review your referencing as a whole, as
ensuring all your articles are within date, cited in-text and referenced correct are very
easy marks to get.
Question: Am I allowed to use paragraph headings?
Answer: Yes, you can use appropriate headings. Please note that all headings and
subheadings are included in the word count.
Question: How many words over the word count can I go before I start losing marks?
Answer: We stop reading your essay at 2000 words exactly. Everything over that is
not marked in any way, even if is mid-sentence. It is recommended that you adhere
closely to the recommended word count for each section (see marking criteria)
Question: Is there a guideline for how many citations/references are required for each
We encourage you to read broadly from various sources, which will enrich the
content of your discussion. There are no standards as to how many references should
be used in one paragraph as it depends on your content and discussion. What we
don’t want to see is using one piece of evidence for the entire section, as this
indicates that the source of knowledge is limited, and it reflects on the students’
Examples of the resources that you can use include peer-reviewed journal articles,
textbooks, and government websites.
Question: I am just wondering if word counts are transferrable at all?
The word count allocation is based on the requirements of each criterion so that
students can sufficiently provide the depth and breadth of discussion. So these word
counts have been provided as a guide. You must ensure you do not exceed the overall
maximum word count for the assignment.
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