Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance

The Newfoundland and Labrador Council of Health Professionals (NLCHP) is required to establish a Quality Assurance (QA) Program under section 21 of the Health Professions Act (HPA).

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary the term quality assurance refers to a program for the systematic monitoring and evaluation of the various aspects of a project, service, or facility to ensure that standards of quality are being met. In the health care field, it also implies a pledge to the public by those within the various health disciplines that they will work toward the goal of an optimal achievable degree of excellence in the services rendered to every patient (http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/quality+assurance).

Quality assurance in health care incorporates many facets and the Health Regulatory Organizations of British Columbia suggests that “continuous quality improvement (CQI) is a management philosophy and system which involves management, staff and health professionals in the continuous improvement of work processes to achieve better outcomes for patient/client/resident care.”

Consistent with these definitions the goal of the NLCHP’S QA program is to ensure that high standards of practice are maintained by health professionals regulated under the HPA. The Council works with the designated health professional colleges (College) who establish the requirements for entry to practice, continuing education, minimum standards of work/practice hours and continuing competency. The NLCHP registers/ renews registration based upon the criteria as set out in the HPA and the discipline-associated regulations.

Initial registration ensures that an applicant meets the requirements for entry-to-practice and is competent to practice as a beginning practitioner. Ensuring registrants continue to meet basic competencies and grow as a professional is generally achieved through maintaining work/practise hour requirements for renewal of their registration and engagement in continuous learning activities that relate to development of the registrant's practice.

Health professionals registered under the HPA are required to participate in the NLCHP’s QA program, to cooperate with QA Assessors and with the Quality Assurance Committee of the NLCHP Council.  As specified in the HPA the Council’s QA program has as a minimum two components: i) continuing education and ii) professional development that are designed to promote continuing competence and continuing quality improvement.

On April 23, 2015, the Council of the NLCHP approved the NLCHP-QA Program. Its two main elements are Assessment and Audit,and Evaluation  and Feedback in a Continuing Quality Improvement Cycle. It has three focuses to ensure that registrants meet the requirements as established by their respective college. (See the link below).

The first focus of the NLCHP-QA Program involves random audit of individual registrant professional portfolios for assessment to ensure that they are meeting continuing education and professional development criteria set by the health professional college.

The second area of focus is the assessment of common standards of practice whereby registrants are asked  to self assess and/or complete documentation on standards common to all health professionals such as privacy and confidentiality, or infection control. Also included with this second focus is the recognition that there are profession-specific standards that may require assessment and the NLCHP will work with colleges to establish a protocol to review compliance with these standards.

The third focus of the NLCHP-QA Program is the investigation of a concern. A concern is not an allegation and investigations into a concern may be initiated through the QA Committee itself or as a result of referral from the Registrar or the Complaints Authorization Committee (CAC).

Please visit the web site and/or contact the designated health professional college for details with respect to the continuing education requirements for each of the disciplines.

Quality Assurance Committee (QAC)

The QA program is administered by a standing committee of the NLCHP made up of Council members, College members and a Public representative.

Though it is the mandate of the Health Professions Act (HPA) to regulate continuing competency for health professions under the HPA, it will be the function of the QA Committee to ensure compliance with the competency standards set by the health professions colleges through random audit. 

Though the QAC is obligated to ensure quality practice through entry level practice standards and continuing competency, it also has authority under the HPA to investigate a complaint or concern. If required the QAC can, but is not limited to subpoena records, order a health professional to undergo an assessment, and/or issue a practice review.

Please see the full NLCHP-QA Program document by clicking on the link below:

 

 

 
NLCHP-QA Program April 23, 2015