In November 2013, Professor Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, spoke about his model for hospital inspections and how the model should be robust, transparent, fair and helpful in order to drive quality improvement. Sir Mike expressed his support for accreditation and peer review and reiterated the important role accreditation plays in improving the quality, safety and outcomes of healthcare, the patient experience as well as service dlivery. He cited the information generated by the process of service accreditation, as needing to feed directly into Care Quality Commission (CQC) monitoring processes and inspections.
The processes of accreditation (such as self-assessment and peer assessment) encourage multidisciplinary healthcare teams to review processes, service delivery and outcomes against professionally agreed standards. Achieving accreditation provides confidence and reassurance to both healthcare professionals and the patients who receive the service: for patients and commissioners it can provide reassurance of the quality of the service and for healthcare teams it is a ‘badge’ of quality indicating confidence in their work and the service they provide. The best example of this process is the Royal College of Physicians Joint Advisory Group on gastrointestinal endoscopy and the Cancer Peer Review.
An additional group relevant to TPFS is Improving Quality In Physiological diagnostic Services (IQUIPS) which has undertaken pilot projects in the following:
- Audiology, Paediatric audiology
- Cardiac physiology
- Gastrointestinal physiology (pilots started in 2012)
- Ophthalmic science
- Respiratory and sleep physiology
- Urodynamics (accreditation started in 2014)
- Vascular science
IQIPS has four domains of quality:
- Patient experience
- Facilities, resources and workforce
These domains are populated with standards against which services will be assessed. For each specialty, these standards are supported by indicative evidence, guidance and a knowledge management system developed in partnership with the professional bodies, societies and colleges.
The entry point for IQIPS Accreditation is the Self Assessment and Improvement Tool (IQIPS-SAIT) which can be used by services to assess accurately their level of performance in relation to established standards and to continually improve the service delivered. IQIPS service accreditation will involve a peer assessment process that validates adherence of a service to the standards providing assurance of quality to patients and commissioners. Accreditation will set a badge of quality.
This programme will raise the profile of physiological services across organisations, with commissioners and patients. It will validate and recognise success as well as seek to drive up quality - aspiring towards excellence. The programme will also promote sharing of good practice and cooperation across physiological services. The work on the audiology Quality Enhancement Tool (QET) has embedded a culture of self improvement within the audiology community and IQIPS has retained this focus on quality and the philosophy of self improvement. There is huge value and knowledge within QET that IQIPS has built upon to maintain the momentum and success. The experience of working with the QET will help services on their accreditation journey.
The IQIPS model is a four-year Accreditation cycle with an annual self assessment and improvement process (SAIT). A copy of the model can be found in the downloads section below. IQIPS is now open for all physiological services.
IQUIPS Standards and Criteria 2014