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Carbal Medical Services and their Quality Management Journey

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Carbal Medical Services is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Responsive Health Care Organisation, covering the Darling Downs, Southern Downs, and Goondiwindi regions. Carbal’s clinics in Toowoomba and Warwick are a one-stop shop for patients to access bulk-billed GP and allied health services, on-site testing, NDIS and community programs such as Strong Fathers, Strong Families, and maternal health. 

As the Clinic and Quality Manager, Kim Passante looks after all accreditations including RACGP and ISO 9001; staff hiring, training and HR documentation; as well as Medicare compliance. We spoke with Kim to learn more about how LogiqcQMS has supported the organisation’s quality management journey.

How was LogiqcQMS being used when you joined the organisation?

I hadn’t used a quality management system before I joined Carbal Medical Services in 2015, so I didn’t have anything to compare it to. But the Operations Manager who brought me on said it wasn’t being used well, and it would take some time to clean up. It had been used in a way that every time someone thought of something, they would create an audit, so we had over 300 audits in the system. Essentially, there was a lack of structure and understanding of how, when, and why to use LogiqcQMS within the team. The Operations Manager and CEO were both new to the organisation as well, so there was a big changeover happening at the same time.  

What changes were required, and subsequently made, to the LogiqcQMS at this time?

We approached the Logiqc team for support and received training on how to use the system. We decided to strip it right back and removed a lot of documents and audits. We now have about 200 documents on the system and run with approximately 28 audits, and it doesn’t change too much. I am the gatekeeper in ensuring it doesn’t grow to the size it was before and challenge staff to think about the audience and who needs to access the information. If it’s just one person working on a document, then it doesn’t need to be added to LogiqcQMS. But I do remind staff to refer to LogiqcQMS for the latest version of any document – it’s the single source of truth.

I also worked with managers to review dates on key items and questioned why we do certain things every month when it might be easier and more efficient to do it every 2-3 months. Empowering staff to make recommendations on timings and feedback on changes helps build accountability, and they then become more familiar with LogiqcQMS as well. We’ve seen a better uptake in use over the past 6-12 months. Whenever we have meetings, I always mention Logiqc and remind staff to complete their tasks. We do still get the odd person saying that their task is overdue because they’ve forgotten their password or don’t know how to use the system – but you get that in a big organisation and I’m very happy to guide them.

Did you encounter any challenges in taking on a QMS that was initially set up by a previous management team? 

The biggest challenge for me was to understand the system, it took about a year before I knew what I was doing to be able to show someone else. It’s like anything – if you’re not using it every day, you can lose the knowledge pretty quickly. I think that’s probably why it wasn’t being used well before I joined the team. It’s taken a couple of years to remove things from the system that weren’t needed and change certain processes. I found that some internal audits were long, arduous, and unnecessary. If it’s only for internal purposes, then it just needs to cover the basics – did we do it, what did we do, did we have a good outcome, and what do we recommend for the future?

How has your LogiqcQMS expanded in scope since then? 

We received recommendations in our ISO audit last year that we could be using LogiqcQMS more, which we have since done. We weren’t using some parts of the system, and that’s probably because it was handed over to me as an Excel spreadsheet, and I continued to work in that way. After looking into LogiqcQMS, we realised it was probably easier to do it through the system, rather than trying to maintain a spreadsheet that goes on forever.

We have added our improvements to LogiqcQMS and regularly work on them as a team. From there, we decided to input our feedback and complaints into the system as well. These come through me, I will upload them, and I then assign outcomes and follow-ups to the relevant manager. Every piece of training and CPD is also on LogiqcQMS, especially when we’re doing accreditation, as well as licensing, registration, and insurance of individuals and the business. LogiqcQMS ensures new staff are onboarded well through the required training and capturing all relevant HR documentation such as driver’s license, credentials and qualifications, blue cards, and police checks.

We added the Risk module about a year ago and review these on a regular basis to decide if any changes are needed. All our incidents then go into LogiqcQMS, both clinical and not clinical, and are assigned a risk category. The only thing we don’t use LogiqcQMS for is contracts because we like to keep these separate.

I’m in LogiqcQMS every day and it keeps me busy, but it also makes the staff accountable now for their own actions. From an accreditation point of view, it provides evidence that we’re doing what we’re meant to be doing. For example, when I make updates to policies and procedures, I can send an email through LogiqcQMS to all staff, and I have evidence for ISO that I’ve informed staff that changes have been made. It helps us keep on top of these important changes.

Anything else you would like to add?  

LogiqcQMS is great and I would recommend for any business to have a quality management system like it. I worked for a few companies before starting at Carbal and it would have made my life a lot easier.

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