Quality assurance (QA) activities are those in which the primary purpose is to monitor, evaluate or improve the quality of health care delivered by a health care provider (an individual, a service or an organisation). Terms such as ‘QA’, ‘clinical audit’, ‘quality improvement (QI)’, ‘quality activities’, ‘audit’ and ‘quality studies’ are often used interchangeably to refer to activities that fall under the auspice of QA review (NHMRC, 2014).
The GV Health Research and Ethics Unit aims to encourage and facilitate the process of QA activities, as it is an essential process for improving health services and patient outcomes. QA aims to gain information on specific services to create better outcomes and more effective processes.
Determining QA Eligibility
To determine the level of risk associated with the project, please complete the Risk Assessment Checklist . This will indicate whether the project is eligible for review as a QA activity.
QA activities must be initiated by a GV Health Principal Investigator. Any applications initiated by an external Principal Investigator are not considered QA.
Submitting a QA Application
From 1 July 2023, all QA applications must be submitted via ERM. No paper-based applications will be accepted after this date. For more information on how to submit a QA application via ERM, download the ERM Applicant User Guide.
To make a QA application, use the Quality Assurance (QA) VIC form in ERM – Select ‘QA Form’ from drop down ‘Form’ menu.
The QA application must include a project plan/protocol which must contain:
- Background and rationale
- Aims and objectives
- Methodology for collection of data and who will be collecting the data
- Recruitment details (if prospective data collection)
- Privacy, storage and disposal of data
- Data source, use and statistical analysis
- Risks and ethical issues (including mitigation and management and data governance arrangements)
- Dissemination plans of the research (e.g. publication)
A Data Request Form must also be completed as a supporting document to the QA Project Application Form.
Following submission, the Research and Ethics Unit will review the QA application and the applicant will be notified of the outcome within two weeks.
If the application is approved, the applicant must show a copy of the approval letter and the approved data request form to the Health Information Management Department for required data or data access.
The investigator must submit a final report of the audit to the Research and Ethics Unit after completion of the QA activity and within the given time frame outlined in the approval letter.
* All QA investigators must handover QA related data and paper-works to their respective department before they conclude their tenure at GV Health, irrespective of whether the project is complete or not.