Dr. Sajid Ahmed was selected as one of the four International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua) interns after a global competition in 2017. The ISQua Fellowship Internship program was launched in 2015. It offers the selected ISQua interns an opportunity to spend about two weeks with a leading organization in health care quality and safety, gain experience from the way in which the organization works and expand their network.
For the internship, Australian General Practice Limited (AGPAL) and Quality Innovation Performance (QIP) partnered with ISQua to develop a customized program to meet the intern needs and also provide exposure to the accreditation, quality improvement and patient safety environment in Australia. AGPAL and QIP are not-for-profit health promotion charities, delivering accreditation and support services to a wide range of organizations across Australia’s health, community and health services sectors.
We asked Dr Ahmed to share with us what he learned and gained from his time in Brisbane.
During my internship in November 2017, I was able to visit AGPAL/QIP offices in Brisbane and learn about the following:
- I observed the accreditation process from initial registration to certification – shadowing operation team members through the process
- the access proprietary software used to streamline the accreditation process
- I participated and observed an on-site survey
- Rotation with AGPAL Group staff members including decisions, education and training, marketing, shared services and corporate strategy
- Visited patient safety and quality improvement unit of Queensland Health to learn about accreditation and patient engagement strategies
- Learned about Patient-centred Surveys and Patient Opinion at CFEP Australia
- Visited the Australian Institute of Health Innovation to understand patient safety research
- Visited the Macquarie University Hospital to understand the Learn, Heal, Discover concept
On the social side, I was able to visit the Gold Coast, Koala Sanctuary and Stony Bridge in Brisbane and the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Manly Island in Sydney. I had an opportunity to learn about wildlife in Australia and feed kangaroos! I learnt about Opals and ate fresh seafood.
I have learned that General Practice accreditation is a unique model globally and feel that building on this model is a way to improve community and population health on a broader basis. Also understanding the nuances of AGPAL and QIP have helped me in appreciating another accreditation system closely and sustained my ongoing development as a surveyor, quality and safety professional.
Overall, the visit was very informative and an awesome learning experience that helped to understand innovative strategies adopted in accreditation, quality improvement and patient safety in Australia. Thank you to AGPAL, QIP and ISQua for their support to pursue this wonderful opportunity.