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How the Strategic Quality System supports organisations to pursue great care

SQS Testimonials and Feedback

Here you'll find a range of perspectives on how the Qualityworks Strategic Quality System assists individuals and human service organisations to change the way they pursue high quality with their consumers; going beyond compliance to create consistent greatness at point of care and service delivery.

Mansfield District Hospital

Whilst we are at the beginning of our journey, Cathy’s strategic quality model has provided the perfect opportunity for us to stop, breathe and re-focus. It is bigger than a clinical governance system. It is the platform for our organisational philosophy where every decision and action: -  strategic and operational, clinical and non-clinical is undertaken with enhancement of the consumer experience at the point of care at the forefront of our thinking.

Cameron Butler, CEO

Mercy Health Victoria

In 2014, Mercy Health set out to reinvigorate quality and safety. Following a series of workshops facilitated by Cathy and using the Strategic Quality Management System, we were able to clearly and meaningfully define our vision, goals and objectives for safe and quality care for patients at Mercy Health. Fast forwarding three years later, our quality framework has been embedded into many aspects of the business – indicator dashboards, quality improvement, decision-making, priority setting, compliance systems – and the list goes on.

Has it been an easy road? Absolutely not! Are we where we want to be? Absolutely not! We have made amazing headway though on our quality and safety journey and are really proud of how far our systems, processes and culture has come in such a short time. The best thing is that we have not lost our momentum, and our passion and enthusiasm is stronger than ever because of the staff engagement we have achieved along the way. We owe our success to the strong framework that was developed under Cathy’s leadership – it always brings us back to purpose and is built on solid, meaningful principles that resonate!

Filomena Ciaveralla, Quality & Safety Director, Mercy Health Services

Silver Chain Group (National Home and Aged Care Services)

The strategic quality system model has helped Silver Chain Group reinvigorate our core belief that the client is at the centre of everything we do. It complemented, put structure around, and aligned strongly with our values. Cathy’s passion, humour and energy has taken us on experiential journey; mapping out our steps to ensuring world’s best care, every person, every time.

Michelle Noort
Executive General Manager, Health Care

Peninsula Home Hospice

Thank you so much for the workshop, I have had very positive feedback from Directors and Staff, it was lovely to meet you and be impacted by your enthusiasm for getting it right for those in our care, a passion we all share. The art of care is so often forgotten when we focus on the science/evidence so highlighting in clear terms that both matter was great. Thanks also for your book, I look forward to reading it.

Rachel Bovenizer, Chief Executive Officer

Metro South Addiction & Mental Health Services 

Just a quick email to let you know how much I appreciate your 'Quality Max' online course: 'Lead a strategic quality governance system', which is proving to be a great learning and development tool for our Clinical Governance team. The sessions prompt lots of valuable discussions as well as generating ideas about activities and strategies we would like to implement. The whole Clinical Governance Team participates in the sessions, including the administration officers, and it has really helped us to identify and develop each and every person’s role in the quality and safety agenda. Thank you for developing such a valuable resource.

Kathy Stapley, Director Clinical Governance, Addiction and Mental Health Services, Metro South Health

Women's and Children's Health Care Network SA

Our safety and quality 'movement' has already started with great discussion at our recent peak Safety and Quality forum. We are co-designing our strategy with staff from all levels, with consumers, supported from the top. We will be jargon-free and focus on what matters to those who receive our care, and those who provide it at the clinical and personal interface. It's the hearts and minds stuff - you set the scene at WCHN with the exercise where we had to imagine our loved one in a foreign hospital. Thanks for helping us on our journey!

Naomi Dwyer, CEO, WCHN South Australia

Kyneton District Health, Victoria

'The strategic quality system model (translated at KDH as 'Best Care') gives me a vehicle for talking about quality to managers and staff without getting overly academic or task focused, and for explaining how the pieces fit together: staff characteristics, governance systems and measures.'

Maree Cuddihy, CEO, (Winner, Small Health Service of the Year Award, Victorian Public Healthcare Awards, 2017) 

Western Health, Victoria

'What this is about is holding to a frame that assists us every day to make the decisions we need to make about how to improve care in our Health Service. This is what the SQS framework helped us to do.'

A/Professor Alex Cockram, Former CEO.

Ambulance Victoria

Ambulance Victoria is on a journey introducing the strategic quality model, that we call AV Best Care, across our service. AV Best Care provides the framework for delivering high quality care. It:

  • Defines what Best Care means for our patients – for us we have communicated this in a Patient Care Commitment as part of our strategic plan as our promise to patients and the community;
  • Engages our paramedics and other front line staff and with indirect-care staff about how we each contribute to continually improving the quality and safety of patient experiences; and
  • Is led from the Board and Executive and throughout line management to ensure our  systems and clinical governance pillars are robust and protect our staff and our patients, to deliver better outcomes.

It makes sense to us. It is our purpose and reason for being, and focuses all parts of our organisation on delivering a caring, safe, effective and connected experience to every patient, every time.

Nicola Reinders, Executive Director Quality and Patient Experience




QualityNews is a free monthly bulletin, full of information and training designed to support boards, executives, quality system leaders and managers to focus their quality and clinical governance systems on making a difference where it counts: at point of care.

When you subscribe to QualityNews,  you'll receive my quality systems quiz to test your quality intelligence!  And, because I know that staff engagement in improvement is a big challenge,  you'll also receive my 'Four C's' staff engagement and empowerment model.  

QualityNews will help you enhance your 'quality intelligence' and build the quality literacy of your team and organisation, by tackling a different governance and  improvement-related topic every month.  QualityNews is also where I give you the heads up on upcoming new materials on my website, and periodic free training videos.

Join the QualityNews Community of like-minded people, striving to create great care for and with consumers. To receive the free QualityNews Newsletter each month, and access to the quiz and my DKRS staff empowerment model, enter your name and email address in the boxes above.

A selection of what you'll find on SQM.

  • Create a Great Quality System In Six Months Blueprint and The Strategic Quality Manager Handbook (also in ebook.)  SQM is the What and Why of improving healthcare quality; it defines the quality manager role, shows how to develop it to a strategic level and describes the most important components of the QM toolbox. CGQS is the 'How To'  that takes the information in SQM and applies it to a step by step blueprint for developing an effective quality system.  Both together create the Total Quality System Blueprint.
  • Qualityclass is the home of Qualityworks online and face to face training.
  • The Quality Pro Program is where you'll find handy tools, tips and links.  All of these resources have been selected because they are clear and practical, and based on research or experience from credible sources. Don't reinvent the wheel!  
  • My free book chapter '5 Essential Skills for 21st Century Quality Managers'; and, for Australian Quality Managers, tips and information on meeting the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards also found under Tools, Tips and Links
  • QualityNews is the free monthly email newsletter, tackling a different Quality related topic every month.
  • Qualityworks Consulting where you'll find information on services available through Cathy's consulting business.

New material is added at regular intervals - visit often to check out new information  - and get your dose of QM support!