Clinical Governance

Clinical governance includes patient safety, risk management and quality improvement. It refers to the set of relationships and responsibilities established by a healthcare service between its executive, workforce (clinical and non-clinical) and stakeholders (including patients/clients). It provides a system through which clinicians and managers are jointly accountable for patient safety and quality care.

The purpose of clinical governance is the promotion of safety and quality, which digital health, in addition to other capabilities in your practice, can improve.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) in its National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards describes a model of governance that includes both corporate and clinical governance:

  • Corporate governance provides a structure through which corporate objectives (e.g. social, fiscal, legal and human resources) are set and achieved, and performance is monitored.

  • Clinical governance is a system through which organisations are accountable for continuously improving the quality of their services and safeguarding high standards of care.

Clinical Governance and Accreditation Standards

Accreditation standards, (including ACSQHC, the RACGP and Australian Council of Healthcare Standards (ACHS)), require clinical governance to be established. In order to meet the standards applicable to medical practices, practices require, among other things, good business processes, good information systems and good data. Implementing digital health can support these requirements.

Implementing Clinical Governance Arrangements

Organisations that can provide direct advice and support in the design and implementation of clinical governance arrangements include: