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Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Service

Clinical Excellence Division

Quality Assurance Committees

A Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) is a committee of suitably qualified and experience people that has been established for the purpose of improving the safety and quality of health services. A QAC is established formally under the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 and then operates with certain statutory privileges and immunities.

The functions of a QAC must include:

  • assessing and evaluating health services
  • reporting and making recommendations concerning the quality of health services
  • monitoring the implementation of its recommendations

How are QACs used?

QACs are used to encourage and facilitate the voluntary participation of clinicians in healthcare improvement by providing a confidential and privileged environment where their practice and the data that describes it can be examined.

The members of a QAC and those assisting a QAC to perform its functions are subject to very strict confidentiality provisions and penalties apply to breaches. Information or documents created by or for a QAC cannot be accessed under any judicial or administrative orders and are not admissible in any legal proceedings. Similarly, the members of a QAC and those assisting a QAC cannot be called to give evidence in legal proceedings.

A Hospital and Health Service; professional association, society, college or other entity whose functions relate to the provision of health services or to the providers of health services; the Chief Executive (for Queensland Health, this is the Director-General (D-G)); or the licensee of a private health facility. Two or more of the bodies mentioned above may jointly establish a single committee.

However, the establishing entity must be satisfied that the committee's functions would benefit from the immunities and protections afforded by the Act.

QACs are not subject to the Right to Information Act 2009. However, QACs must make information publicly available at least every 3 years about their membership, activities and outcomes.

Resources

Last updated: 12 February 2016