Emergency Ambulance Service providers have strategies in place to ensure services are delivered to a high standard. These include:
- Clinical Governance – St John and Wellington Free Ambulance have Clinical Governance structures and Clinical Directors/Managers to oversee the quality of care provided by paramedics that work in the Ambulance Communication Centres and on Emergency Road and Air Ambulance Services. - See Clinical Leadership and Governance
- Standards and Accreditation - providers are certified against the Standards New Zealand Ambulance and Paramedical Services Standard (NZS 8156: 2008 and AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008). - See Requirements for Emergency Air Ambulance providers
- Quality Assurance – providers are regularly audited both externally and have their own internal audit processes. This ensures compliance against all requirements, legislation and regulations.
- Policies and Procedural Guidelines – providers develop and review their policies and procedural guidelines. This ensures they are current and foster a culture of safety and quality within provider organisations.
- Clinical Practice Guidelines are regularly reviewed and up-dated. They provide consistent guidelines across New Zealand for paramedics to follow. Revised guidelines are currently being developed and will be available soon. - See Clinical Leadership and Governance
- Performance reports – providers report their performance to NASO quarterly. These reports are compiled into a national performance report. The reports help to track performance and inform continuous improvement of the service. See the performance reports section.
- Reportable Events – Providers report events including Serious and Sentinel Events to NASO in line with the Health Quality and Safety Commission (HQSC) guidelines. NASO sends these to the HQSC. Providers implement actions to minimise their occurrence. This encourages a culture of safety and continuous improvement. See the reportable events section.
The reports contribute to a culture of safety, transparency and continuous improvement. Increased reporting reflects a willingness to learn from events and to improve the quality and safety of services.
- Risk Management – risks and issues are identified, collated and monitored by management.
- Compliments and complaints – providers log these and manage them accordingly. For complaints – an appropriate response is provided (if required) and actions taken to minimise future occurrence.
- Occupational Health and Safety – providers have policies and guidelines in place to provide a safe workplace for staff and minimise hazards.
- Training – providers ensure paramedics are kept up-to-date with their training requirements. On the job support is provided to enable skills to be further developed.