HCI’s Quality and Safety of Care Assurance Programme supports compliance with The Quality Standards for Health and Social Care

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The Quality Standards for Health and Social Care, launched in 2006 and regulated by The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA), are part of a broader framework to raise the quality of health and social care services provided in Northern Ireland. There are five quality themes on which the standards have been developed, these are:

  1. Corporate Leadership and Accountability of Organisations;
  2. Safe and Effective Care;
  3. Accessible, Flexible and Responsive Services;
  4. Promoting, Protecting and Improving Health and Social Well-being; and
  5. Effective Communication and Information.

Among the requirements set out under these themes are to have robust governance structures and arrangements, have an effective and integrated information technology and information system and have effective systems for the management of human resources, incidents, audits, risks and feedback.

Implementing these standards demonstrates your commitment to improving the quality of safety of care in your organisation. In this blog we consider how utilising HCI’s Quality and Safety of Care Assurance Programme, powered by Q-Pulse provides a framework to help you achieve compliance with the Quality Standards for Health and Social Care.

HCI’s Quality and Safety of Care Assurance Programme

HCI Quality and Safety of Care Assurance Programme, powered by Q-Pulse is not simply a software-based solution, but rather an ongoing comprehensive quality and safety management service. HCI take a proactive approach to managing your Quality and Safety Management System (QSMS), interpreting data, providing you with advanced quality and safety intelligence and quality improvement recommendations. Our hands-on approach ensures that you are supported and expertly guided towards building a robust Quality and Safety Management System that supports compliance with the Quality Standards for Health and Social Care.

The key features of service are:

10 Reasons to Utilise HCI Quality and Safety of Care Assurance Programme

The Quality and Safety of Care Assurance Programme is powered by Q-Pulse, a Quality Management Information System (QMIS). Q-Pulse is a centralised electronic system for management of documents, incidents, risks, audits, complaints/feedback, staff training records, suppliers and assets and Quality Improvement Plans. This system will allow you to effectively manage and oversee many of the criteria outlined in the Quality Standards for Health and Social Care, in particular section 8.3 where the standard details the requirement for an effective and integrated information technology and information systems which support and enhance the quality and safety of care and provision of services.

HCI have been supporting Q-Pulse users in healthcare for the last 16 years. We provide a comprehensive Q-Pulse Administration and Support Service that will ensure your system is administered properly and that your staff have consistent access to knowledgeable Q-Pulse support 365 days a year. HCI currently provide support to over 20,000 healthcare staff in Ireland.

Partnering with HCI, ensures you get access to practical, in depth knowledge of Q-Pulse and Quality and Safety practices in general. HCI has a wealth of experience to drawn upon and can offer you advice and recommendations as to areas for quality improvement and enhancement of processes in order to embed the Quality Standards for Health and Social Care.

HCI has also worked with many health and social care organisations interpreting international accreditation standards to support them in successfully preparing for their accreditation assessment. See case studies such as The Royal Victoria Eye and Ear, Medical Optics and St Vincent’s Private Hospital for examples of the tailored support we provided them with.

Within Section 5.3. Safe and Effective Care the standard requires health and social care organisations to have systems in place to ensure regular audit, evaluation and monitoring of services, and to ensure that these learnings are disseminated across the organisation. Q-Pulse Audit Management Module gives you full control of the auditing lifecycle from planning, scheduling, reviewing and sharing of findings. The Q-Pulse Audit app means that you can conduct the audit on the go and findings will be uploaded to your Q-Pulse system.

In addition, HCI will conduct Independent Quality and Safety of Care Audits as per an agreed Audit Schedule. This schedule can be updated to reflect any risks identified in previous audits. HCI’s Best Practice Team keep you up to date with new and emerging best practice techniques and guidelines, including clinical practice. Any new guidance can be incorporated as part of the audits.

An important part of building a culture of safety is reporting and analysing incidents and complaints. As part of the Quality Standards for Health and Social Care, in particular in Section 5.3.2, healthcare services are required to have

systems and processes in place to prevent, identify, assess and manage and review adverse incidents and near misses across the spectrum of care and support provided. In addition, services must have reporting systems in place to collate, analyse and learn from all adverse incidents, and near misses, share knowledge and prevent reoccurrence of adverse incident or near miss.

Q-Pulse provides an effective system whereby incidents and complaints / feedback can be recorded, analysed and findings can be communicated to staff. This practice improves communication and learning, promotes a culture of safety and supports the criteria of the Quality Standards for Health and Social Care. You can find out more about the Q-Pulse Incident Management System in our blog here.

HCI’s Quality and Safety of Care Assurance Programme supports the continuous development of your staff through the delivery of education and training. HCI’s training programme can be tailored to your specific requirements. Examples of the types of training HCI can provide include Q-Pulse training, risk management, audit management, policies and procedure management, incident management and infection prevention and control.

In Section 4.3, the standards require organisations to have

sound human resource policies and systems in place to ensure appropriate workforce planning, skill mix, recruitment, induction, training and development opportunities for staff.

This includes having appraisal and supervision systems for staff which support continuous professional development and learning and a training plan and training programmes to meet identified training needs. Q-Pulse People and Training Modules supports the effective management of staff training records. These modules allow for the control of training and competence for all personnel, recording each staff members’ skill set, experience and training history. Furthermore, HCI TrainScanTM is a staff scanning and reporting system that links with the Q-Pulse People and Training Modules. This intuitive system supports trainers and line mangers with keeping track of their department’s training requirements, allowing them to run reports to identify what training has been completed and what training is required. To find out more about this feature see our blog here.

QualSIP, HCI’s Quality and Safety Intelligence Portal, allows healthcare organisations to ensure appropriate and useful quality and safety data is gathered, extracted and analysed. It is an easy to use, web-based interface which offers dynamic dashboards displaying real time governance intelligence including incidents, risks, clinical data and KPIs. This is an important and useful tool to demonstrate effective monitoring and oversight of services.

In Section 8.3 of the standards, the criteria states that the organisations should have

system(s) and process(es) in place to ensure that urgent communications, safety alerts and notices, standards and good practice guidance are made available in a timely manner to relevant staff and partner organisations.

HCI can support you in fulfilling this criteria by keeping your staff informed with alters such as patient safety alerts, incident alerts, regulatory and best practice alerts. This ensures that your staff receive appropriate communication regarding such things as lessons to be learned from incidents, QIPs or changes in regulations or best practice guidance.

HCI has a variety of web-based system interfaces that are powered by Q-Pulse. Examples include QualSIP, HCI PPG LibraryTM – a Policies & Procedures Simple Access Portal, TrainScanTM – Record Training Attendance and Compliance Reports and the Occurrence Reporting Forms. These interfaces are simple, user friendly and to help make it easier for staff to use and engage with Q-Pulse.


HCI’s Quality and Safety of Care Assurance Programme is a practical solution to support you in complying with the Quality Standards for Health and Social Care. HCI is a provider of professional services in relation to patient safety, quality improvement, and regulatory compliance. As such we understand your requirements and have the necessary experience to expertly support you embedding these standards and driving quality improvement across your service.

Contact Us

For more information contact info@hci.care or Phone +353 (0)1 6292559.