Roadmap Project Updates

Over 2020 the ACORN Roadmap Project (RMP) has progressed under the governance of the National Leadership Group (NLG). COVID-19 delayed progress however the combined efforts of ACORN member volunteers and academic, clinical and professional perioperative and healthcare sector leaders have enabled the RMP to gain momentum. The RMP timeline has been extended with ACORN expecting a final NLG RMP report including findings and recommendations by November 2021. In the interim, as the RMP continues ACORN will use this webpage to periodically publish updates and early-release information related the RMP and the ACORN Standards.

On the 30th September 2020 the National Leadership Group (NLG) agreed on the following new defintion for the ACORN Standards. It will take effect from publication of the next ACORN Standards. 

Standards provide a benchmark against which performance can be measured.

ACORN Safety and Quality Standards identify benchmarks to support safe, consistent, and reliable care to patients. The ACORN Practice Standards for Perioperative Nurses outline the level of performance expected from nurses within the perioperative environment to support the provision of high-quality nursing care. The ACORN Standards are under constant review and consideration. Changes in the environment trigger evaluation of existing standards and where needed the development of new standards.

The ACORN Standards, where appropriate, link to those set by Standards Australia (SA), the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS Standards)1 set by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, and the Registered2 and Enrolled Nurses Standards for Practice3 set by the  Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).

The two sets of standards aim to protect patients and staff from harm and to maximize the quality of perioperative care and conditions. 

Adoption of the ACORN standards enables organisations and individuals to demonstrate that they are meeting minimum requirements and providing safe, quality perioperative nursing care.

ACORN Standards for Safe and Quality Perioperative Care are structured as follows.

  1. Standard: this describes the high-level outcome for the standard
  2. Criterion: Outlines the elements of the standard against which measurement can be made e.g. actions, processes or procedures.
  3. Guidance: explains and expands the concepts and elements in the criterion. Contains references to the research/ scientific evidence underpinning the standard.
  4. Evidence demonstrating how the standard is met: illustrative examples of the type of evidence which organisations can provide in order to demonstrate achievement of the standard.
  5. Links to NSQHS, SA, and NMBA will be indicated as relevant

ACORN will make available links to and information on resources and tools to support implementation and achievement of the standards.

References

  1. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC). National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. 2nd ed. Sydney: ACSQHC; 2017[cited 2020 July 28]. Available from: https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/publications-and-resources/resource-library/national-safety-and-quality-health-service-standards-second-edition
  2. Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMB). Registered nurses standards for practice. Sydney: NMBA;2016[cited 2020 July 28]. Available from: https://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/Codes-Guidelines-Statements/Professional-standards/registered-nurse-standards-for-practice.aspx
  3. Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMB). Enrolled nurse standards for practice. Sydney: NMBA;2016[cited 2020 July 28]. Available from: https://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/Codes-Guidelines-Statements/Professional-standards/enrolled-nurse-standards-for-practice.aspx