Increase patient and staff safety during COVID-19

This is a More Involved QI – includes free access to Medicoach

COVID-19 has meant major adjustments to routine activities in general practice. This activity focuses on the ability to increase patient and staff safety by implementing COVID-19 infection control and social distancing guidelines.

With the community transmission on the rise in Victoria and Sydney, improvement ideas could focus on preparing your practice for future outbreaks or a second wave, should this unfortunately emerge on the North Coast. See below for examples from North Coast general practices:

  • Video (see below) from AB Surgery in Kempsey where Practice Manager Melissa Chapman talks through their experience and lessons for the future.
  • PDSA and photo gallery from Tweed Health for Everyone Superclinic Practice Manager, Alana Flohr (see below in in the Shared PDSA Example(s) section).  The PDSA and photo gallery give a  comprehensive and practical overview of clinic modifications and demonstrate what can be achieved with committed leadership and proactive staff communication.

Thanks to the teams at AB Surgery and Tweed Health for Everyone Superclinic for your effort and for generously sharing with colleagues!

Click fullscreen video to enlarge


Increase staff and patient safety by implementing COVID-19 social distancing and infection control guidelines.



Number of staff completing the Commonwealth COVID-19 infection control training.

Implementation and review of physical alterations to accommodate social distancing guidelines.

Regular safety audits against the RACGP checklist Keeping your Practice COVID Safe demonstrate that practice safety is maintained

Starting point
Possible improvement ideas
  • Prepare for COVID-19 outbreaks.
    • Review practice safety as a team and audit for areas that need attention by filling out the RACGP Checklist Keeping your Practice COVID Safe  in conjunction with the RACGP Infection Prevention and Standards 5th edition
    • Set a review date for regular audits to check you are maintaining safety at your practice.
    • See video from AB Surgery Kempsey (above) where Practice Manager Melissa Chapman talks through improvement ideas such as: setting up remote logins for clinicians, ensuring plentiful supply of hand sanitiser and PPE and rostering A and B teams to ensure business continuity should a staff member test positive to COVID-19.
    • See PDSA from Tweed Health for Everyone Superclinic (below) for comprehensive list of improvement ideas to ensure staff and patient safety.
  • Allocate protected time for staff to do the online infection control training.
  • Trial physical adjustments to the practice.
  • Review physical and infection control arrangements at regular ‘COVID-19 staff and patient safety huddles’ (these could be brief weekly 5-10 minute check-ins to ensure things are working) or via suggestions and advice to the person coordinating the response for your practice.
Assistance is available

North Coast PHN has contracted Kim Poyner of Medicoach to provide you with short term assistance on this improvement. Consultations with Kim are specific and unique to your practice and come with practical tools and advice. To access Kim please contact your Primary Health Coordinator or use this form

Let us know your progress on this activity

Coordinator Contacts

Our organisation highly values our front-line partners in general practice, allied health, the Local Health Districts, as well as the wider health, mental health, and social service sectors.

The first point of contact for partner organisations and professionals seeking to improve joint health outcomes in the North Coast is the regional Primary Care Coordinators listed below.

Aboriginal health is a key priority for our organisation. We are committed to improving health outcomes and equitable outcomes across our region.

We have a dedicated Aboriginal Health Team to ensure Aboriginal health priorities across the North Coast are led by and identified in consultation with the Aboriginal Community Controlled sector (ACCS), Aboriginal people and communities.

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