Safety and Quality


Joan Sheppard - National Quality Manager

joan shephhard

Our National Quality Manager, Joan Sheppard, has over 40 years' experience in healthcare, with the last 15 years specialising in governance, quality and risk management as well as patient centred care.

Joan has been working at GenesisCare as the National Quality Manager for the last two years, designing the governance system, leading the safety and quality agenda and implementing systems and processes to support patient safety and partnering.

Her key role has been in developing appropriate systems and processes to meet the requirements of mandatory accreditation for CancerCare against the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality, National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. Joan believes that our patients should receive the highest quality of care; and in the words of one of our patients on treatment:


"We have to work together"

The GenesisCare vision and values has strong links to safety and quality. At GenesisCare we focus on quality, care and efficiency to deliver even better outcomes and extend access to patients and communities in need

GenesisCare is committed to ongoing improvement of patient care in all areas. While we have an excellent record in delivering quality patient care and managing risks, we continue to focus on improvements that will keep it at the forefront of health care delivery. To this end, GenesisCare prides itself on listening and responding to the needs of our patients. We continually evaluate and improve on all aspects of our performance through customer satisfaction surveys, feedback forms, focus groups and formal feedback processes.

GenesisCare has a strong commitment to patient safety and quality and this is reflected in our organisation-wide approach to:

  • Continuous review and improvement of our patient safety and quality systems.
  • Educating our patient services and health care provider teams of the importance of monitoring and reporting the safety and quality of the services they provide.
  • Ensuring accountability for the safety and quality of care at all levels of our organisation.

Know your rights as a patient

We aim to look after you and keep you safe during your treatment. We discuss care plans with our patients to assist with treatment.

The National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards were developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) in consultation and collaboration with State and National jurisdictions, technical experts and a wide range of stakeholders, including health professionals and patients.

The Standards provide a quality assurance mechanism that tests and provide sound evidence as to whether relevant systems are in place to ensure standards of safety and quality are met, as well as providing a framework that allows health services to realise aspirational or developmental goals. These cover 10 key areas. Click below to read about what you should know when you are a patient at GenesisCare.

Download National Standards Brochure for Patients (PDF)

National Genesis Cancer Care Results

We are extremely proud to share our quarterly safety and quality results. Health quality and safety data is measured as the number of incidents per 1000 occasions of service. An occasion of service refers to any treatment or other service provided to out-patients in a health service facility. The incident rate for GenesisCare is less than 1 per 1000 occasions of service, demonstrating our commitment to risk management across our business

Despite our very best efforts, there is always room for improvement as we strive to keep all incidents to zero.

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Preventing Falls and Harm from Falls

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The focus of this Standard is on prevention. GenesisCare has processes in place across the nation to keep our patients falls at zero. In the last quarter, the number of falls (requiring intervention) was 10. This figure represents a rate of 0.11 falls per 1000 occasions of service. During the last quarter, there was slight increase in the number of falls across the business. The rate is very low and most falls occur outside our facilities in the car parks. We continue to ensure we have education, reporting and action plans in place to prevent falls.


Medication Safety

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GenesisCare takes all medication errors very seriously. We encourage staff to report all medication incidents no matter how minor they may seem. All medication incidents that are occurring are related to documentation of medications or storage processes and provide us with an opportunity to improve our management of medications. They are investigated and actioned. Any serious medication incidents are investigated thoroughly and monitored by the Safety and Quality teams nationally. We had 10 minor patient medication related incidents in the last quarter. There has been no patient harm arising from medication prescription or administration.


Clinical Deterioration


Recognising that a patient's condition is deteriorating and responding to their needs in an appropriate and timely way is essential to keep our patients safe. We have systems to ensure we recognise when a patient becomes unwell early and respond quickly to prevent further harm to our patients. We have many ways of ensuring our patients are safe, particularly when some of our patients may become unwell during treatment. All our patient incidents are reviewed to ensure we have followed the correct procedure. In the last quarter, the number of clinical deterioration incidents was 32. We also record any incidents where we have transferred a patient to a hospital so that we also review their care.


Patient Identification and Procedure Matching

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Staff will repeatedly ask you to identify yourself through the many stages of your care to reduce risks to patient safety. This is one of healthcare's biggest risk areas with ongoing audit and review of processes and procedures. We have systems and processes in place to reduce risks which might occur when there is a failure to correctly identify patients and match that information to an intended clinical intervention (procedures, medications etc.). In the last quarter, the number of patient identification and procedure matching incidents was 9. This represents an incident rate of 0.10 per 1000 occasions of service.


Preventing and Controlling Healthcare Associated Infections

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Having cancer or treatment for cancer can weaken the immune system of our patients. This means that you may be more susceptible to infections. At GenesisCare we aim to minimise the risk of infection to patients, staff and visitors who come to our facilities. One of the most effective means to prevent infection spreading amongst patients is for all health professionals and anyone entering our premises is to engage in good hand hygiene practice. Hand hygiene is monitored in all our sites and we are monitoring our compliance against the national average of 85%. GenesisCare compliance currently sits at 90%. All incidents of infection recorded are community acquired infections, not infections that arise from our treatments.


Pressure injuries and skin integrity.


Pressure injuries are localised areas of damage to the skin caused by unrelieved pressure or friction. These risks exist for our patients however; the risk is very low and we have very specific processes in place to protect your skin. In the last quarter, GenesisCare has had 9 pressure injury incidents across the business. The main area of risk is in relation to maintaining healthy skin during treatment and it is important that we record these incidents to protect patients from getting an infection. All incidents in this category are related to skin concerns not pressure injuries.


Clinical Handover

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It is important for patients to be involved and informed during the clinical handover process. Clinical handover is the transfer of responsibility and accountability for some or all aspects of your care from one health care professional to another on a temporary or permanent basis. We encourage patients to take responsibility by asking questions and staying up to date about your condition, treatment and medical records. Staff will update patients and include them in clinical handover on a regular basis. Patients will be given the opportunity to add any additional information.

In the last quarter, the number of clinical handover incidents was 75, representing a clinical handover rate of less than 0.75 per 1000 occasions of service. This quarter there is a decrease in incidents and with continued staff education incidents are decreasing overall. It is important to effectively and accurately communicate clinical information throughout the patient process and we continue to focus on reporting areas where the quality of that reporting can be improved. This includes communication from referring hospitals, between doctors and staff and between GenesisCare staff in all areas. Most of the incidents have little or no impact on patient care. Training and education continues for clinical handover.