Why address Climate Risk?
Addressing climate risk is a global responsibility and an important national priority. Health services use immense amounts of resources and generate vast amounts of waste in delivering care to their patients.
Improving the environmental sustainability of health services is an opportunity to improve the safety and quality of care, improve the health of the community, reduce low value care and unwarranted variation and reduce waste.
Globally, health services organisations are recognising the importance of knowing and understanding the impact of health care on the environment and public health. Recognising this, more health services are developing climate risk plans; monitoring their progress towards environmental sustainability targets; considering climate risk in the organisation’s models of care, clinical practices and decision making processes; and designing or upgrading facilities with climate risks and resilience in mind.
Climate Risk Module
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) is supportive of health service organisations who are developing climate risk plans and taking initiatives towards the delivery of environmentally sustainable health care.
The Commission has established a Sustainable Environment Advisory Group (the Advisory Group) to provide expert technical advice and guidance on the development of a Climate Risk Module (the module). The Advisory Group is compiled of multidisciplinary health professionals and consumers with industry experience and expertise in climate risk, resilience and adaptation and health care.
The module will be voluntary for health service organisations. It is envisaged that the module will consist of a number of actions that can be implemented in any health service organisation and will be assessed as part of organisation’s routine accreditation, should the organisation choose. Implementation of the module will rely on the health service organisation’s existing governance structure.
Development of the Climate Risk Module will include a comprehensive consultation processes. The aim of the module is to support health services organisation’s to know their climate risks and develop strategies to mitigate climate risks, adapt systems and build resilience. The actions will aim to:
- Include within the role of a health service organisation’s governing body, the responsibility for setting priorities for the organisation’s climate risk plan
- Incorporate climate risk monitoring into the organisations regular monitoring and performance reporting structure
- Incorporate climate risk into routine clinical practices focusing on mitigation, resilience and adaption
- Build the health workforce’s carbon literacy to enable clinical decision making which is sensitive to climate risk.
The Advisory Group will also provide advice and guidance on available resources and tools to support implementation of the Module, or other initiatives which focus on practical steps that a health service organisation might take.
How to get involved
The Commission will develop a draft Climate Risk Module with the support of the Advisory Group. This initial draft of the module is expected to be made available for public consultation late in 2021.
Regular updates made available here or you can register your interest to receive updates about this module by completing the below form:
You can also receive regular updates about the Commission’s work by subscribing to the Commission’s NSQHS Standards eNews and updates.
Who to Contact
For further questions or advice, please contact the Safety and Quality Advice Centre.