The National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) will be implemented nationally from 1 January 2013 and will be compulsory for the majority of public and private healthcare organisations. Standard 2: Partnering with Consumers provides the framework for active partnership with consumers by health service organisations and requires that consumers be consulted on patient information distributed by organisations.

We have taken steps to ensure consumer input in the development of our patient information brochures and have received official endorsement of our library from the Australian Patients Association (APA). The APA logo appears on all of our brochures and our recent media release can be viewed on our website.

It is now widely accepted that healthcare providers, healthcare organisations and consumers are all partners in the healthcare system. A 2010 review of patient engagement strategies (Invest in Engagement web site. Picker Institute Europe, 2010 (www.investinengagement.info)) found that involving consumers in the development of health information and materials was an effective approach for improving patient–provider communication and consequently, partnerships between the health service organisation and consumers.

Evidence is mounting for a connection between effective partnerships, good consumer experience and high quality health care. For example there is evidence that the existence of effective partnerships is associated with:

  • improved clinical outcomes including associations with decreased re-admission rates
  • decreased rates of healthcare acquired infections
  • improved delivery of preventive care services
  • improved adherence to treatment regimens
  • improved functional status.

Studies from the United States have also found that delivering health care based on partnerships can result in reduced hospital costs, lower cost per case and reduced length of stay.

The ACSQHC suggests that "If you do not develop your own information publications – you should try to source and use publications that have been developed in partnership with consumers."

To find out how to access our library of over 300 patient information brochures, call 1800 211 511 or contact us through this website. Contact us today to avoid the high cost and hassle of devloping and maintaining your own patient information brochures.

This text has been adapted from the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards published by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. The Standards are available from the ACSQHC website at www.safetyandquality.gov.au