About Cathy Balding
Welcome to my website!
It's the website I wish I'd had when I started out (pre-websites!) - and throughout my career in quality improvement; access to resources that guide, reassure, challenge and teach.
Governing and improving the quality of the care and services we deliver is not an easy gig within the complexity of the health and human services sectors - but we're up for the challenge and learning all the time about better ways to create great consumer experiences. A tip or hint that shows the way at the right time can make a big difference, and that's what the SQM website strives to do.
I’ve had (and continue to have!) an amazing career in healthcare quality improvement and clinical governance for over 20 years across a range of settings and roles. I started out working in health information management and cut my quality teeth on quality improvement in a rural health region that encompassed community, acute and aged care services.
This experience taught me the importance of constantly asking the question: 'how are consumers better off for all of this quality activity?' I was lucky enough to be able to pursue this question as inaugural manager of The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards’ Care Evaluation Program, which introduced clinical indicators into a national hospital accreditation program.
Since then I’ve held executive positions in quality and organisational development and coordinated a large metropolitan healthcare network quality program. Working in the state Department of Health introduced me to the policy side of quality improvement and in 2001 my role as manager of the newly formed Victorian Quality Council, the state Ministerial advisory body on healthcare safety and quality, provided an excellent opportunity to collaborate with managers, clinicians and quality professionals across Victoria to promulgate innovative approaches to improving safety and quality.
Since establishing my ‘Qualityworks’ consultancy in 2005, I’ve had a particular interest in strengthening organisational capacity for creating great quality consumer experiences, through the synthesis of theory and experience. I’ve developed and shared a number of capacity building models through presenting, publishing and applying them in collaboration with health and aged care services and policymakers and sharing this work at conferences and seminars across Australia, Asia and Europe.
Through this work I've distilled the 'Strategic Quality System' Model which gives organisations a simple, powerful framework for finding and achieving the purpose to their clinical/quality governance systems: creating great experiences with their consumers.
I also got to practice what I preach as an accreditation surveyor for a national healthcare accreditation organisation for over 10 years, and as a member of the Board of a large not for profit aged care organisation, chairing the Quality Committee. I also sit on a number of health department and health service clinical governance advisory committees including the Victorian Ministerial Advisory Commitee on Patient Safety, and the Commonwealth Department of Social Services Technical Advisory Group on Aged Care Standards.
A key focus for me is to provide opportunities for quality professionals to develop their roles to be more fulfilling, effective, and recognised, and that is what my books and Qualityclass training are designed to support. I know these roles are not easy! – and I’m committed to helping those with quality portfolios to develop their skills and knowledge to make it easier to do what they want to do, to do it well - and to have some fun and fulfilment along the way!
And teaching, training and coaching are a big part of this. Explaining clinical governance and quality improvement in clear, plain language that showcases the importance of individual roles - and motivates people to enact them - is my specialty! Based on theory, research and real world experience, with a good dose of humour added, I love to clear away the jargon and confusion and help people re-focus on what's important - creating great care, services and experiences.
All of this actvity has one purpose, from my perspective: it equips and enables me to bring the latest and best information and experience to everyone I work with.
I hope you’ll be a part of a great comunity of people who are striving to do the best for their consumers, through Qualityworks, QualityNews, QualityClass, or QualityBites - preferably all of them!
Cathy Balding MHA, PhD, FCHSM, GAICD
'Dr Balding is arguably one of the handful of leading experts in quality management in Australasia.' (Kerin Robinson Head, Department of Health Information Management, La Trobe University.)
Publications: 2005 - 2016
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A selection of what you'll find on SQM.
New material is added at regular intervals - visit often to check out new information - and get your dose of QM support!