Safety and Quality > Our Work > Clinical Care Standards

Clinical Care Standards can play an important role in delivering appropriate care and reducing unwarranted variation, as they identify and define the care people should expect to be offered or receive, regardless of where they are treated in Australia.

This body of work has been identified as a priority area in the Commission’s 2013-16 work plan as approved by Health Ministers in 2013.

The Commission established the Clinical Care Standards program to support clinical experts and consumers develop Clinical Care Standards on health conditions that would benefit from a national coordinated approach.

This is in recognition that:

  • Appropriateness of clinical care is a major focus in improving the quality of health care provision
  • A gap between what we know and what we do exists
  • Unwarranted variation is variation in care that is not explained by the clinical circumstances or personal choices of the patient.
  • Unwarranted variation in care occurs in all countries when there is
    • Overuse of treatments or procedures that do not help people get better
    • Underuse of care that we know can help
    • Misuse (or errors) of doing something incorrectly and harming people.

Overview of the Clinical Care Standards

More details on the Clinical Care Standards program including Frequently Asked Questions and details of the Clinical Care Standards Advisory Committee.

Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard

The Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard aims to ensure that a patient with a bacterial infection receives optimal treatment with antibiotics. ‘Optimal treatment’ means the right antibiotic to treat their condition, the right dose, by the right route, at the right time and for the right duration based on accurate assessment and timely review.

Acute Coronary Syndromes Clinical Care Standard

The Acute Coronary Syndromes Clinical Care Standard aims to ensure that a patient with an acute coronary syndrome receives optimal treatment from the onset of symptoms through to the completion of their treatment in hospital. This includes recognition of an acute coronary syndrome, rapid assessment, early management and early initiation of a tailored rehabilitation plan.

Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard

The Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard aims to ensure that a patient with suspected stroke receives optimal treatment during the acute phase of care, starting from the onset of symptoms. This includes recognition of a stroke, rapid assessment, early treatment and early initiation of an individualised rehabilitation plan.

Colonoscopy Clinical Care Standard

The Colonoscopy Clinical Care Standard has been developed by the Commission to ensure the safe and appropriate use of colonoscopy and to maximise patients’ likelihood of benefit from the procedure.

Delirium Clinical Care Standard

The Delirium Clinical Care Standard aims to ensure that patients with delirium at the time of presentation to hospital receive optimal treatment to reduce the duration and severity of the condition. It also aims to ensure that patients at risk of delirium during a hospital admission are identified promptly and receive preventive strategies.

Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Clinical Care Standard

The Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Clinical Care Standard aims to ensure that women with heavy menstrual bleeding are offered the least invasive and most effective treatment appropriate to their clinical needs, and have the opportunity to make an informed choice from the range of treatments suitable to their individual situation.

Hip Fracture Care Clinical Care Standard

The Hip Fracture Care Clinical Care Standard supports high-quality care for patients with a confirmed or suspected hip fracture, and was released by the Commission, in collaboration with the Health Quality & Safety Commission New Zealand.

Osteoarthritis of the Knee Clinical Care Standard

The Osteoarthritis of the Knee Clinical Care Standard aims to improve the assessment and management of knee osteoarthritis to enhance a patient’s symptom control, joint function, quality of life and participation in usual activities, and lessen the disability caused by the condition.

Venous Thromboembolism Prevention Clinical Care Standard

The Venous Thromboembolism Prevention Clinical Care Standard has been developed by the Commission to support clinicians and health services implement the delivery of high-quality care to prevent venous thromboembolism (VTE) acquired in hospital and following hospital discharge.