Library News February 2020

What is in this issue

Topic Focus: NSQHS - Standard 1: Clinical Governance
EndNote Education Sessions
Primary Clinical Care Manual- 10th edition
Coronavirus - A  PubMed Search
Research Lunch Details

NSQHS - Standard 1: Clinical Governance Standard

Policies and Procedure Action 1.7 states

The health service organisation uses a risk management approach to:

  1. Set out, review, and maintain the currency and effectiveness of policies, procedures and protocols.
  2. Monitor and take action to improve adherence to policies, procedures and protocols.
  3. Review compliance with legislation, regulation and jurisdictional requirements.
What is the difference between Policy & Procedure?
Policies are rules, guidelines and principles that communicate an organisation’s culture, values and philosophies.
Procedures are developed for internal use by health care providers to create a roadmap showing how a policy can be implemented or how a service can be delivered. Procedures refer to the various types of tasks performed by employees, resources that are necessary, boundaries of the service, and contingency plans for executing an alternative if the policy cannot be implemented (O'Donnell, 2012, Pharmacy & Therapeutics).


Writing Policy Documents (print copy of this content)

Before You Start

  • Clearly define the problem the document will discuss.
  • Research your policy – get input from all roles and departments affected by the policy.
  • Read current literature on the topic. Literature support is available from the Library

Keep it Simple

Your policy needs to be read and easily understood by a wide variety of people:

  • Write your policy in plain English; be clear and concise, avoid complex language and long paragraphs.
  • Avoid jargon, unnecessarily technical terms, or overly formal words and phrases. Use common terms. Such as ‘use’ rather than ‘utilise.’
  • If abbreviations are used, first define them, abbreviations can have different meanings to different specialities across the health service.

Keep it Active

Succinct documents written in an active voice are generally easier to comprehend.

  • Say it in as few words as possible. Use ‘before’ rather than ‘prior to’ and ‘often’ rather than ‘in most cases.’
  • Use active voice rather than a passive voice, and write in the present tense.
  • Avoid the use of ambiguous terms such as ‘should’ and ‘shall.’ For mandatory actions, use ‘must.’

Keep it Consistent

  • Use the approved South West Healthcare policy and procedure template. Documents written and presented in a consistent manner aids readability.
  • Define the meaning of the important terms used in the policy in the Definitions section.
  • If you have a list of bullet points punctuate these consistently. This is what I recommend:
    • Use a full stop after every bullet point that is a sentence (as these bullets do).
    • Use a full stop after every bullet point that completes the introductory stem.
    • Use no punctuation after bullets that are not sentences and do not complete the stem.
    • Use all sentences or all fragments, not a mixture.
  • Many words have variable spelling, policies should be written in Australian (or British) English.
  • There are many different referencing styles (APA, Harvard, Oxford, Vancouver…) for consistency South West Healthcare will use the American Psychological Association (APA) style manual. For referencing support the Library can be contacted. Quick online guide Re:cite.

Keep it Current

Future-proof your policy by avoiding details that may quickly become outdated.

  • Don’t use specific staff names or contact details – where possible use a generic group email address or phone number (such as
  • Be conscious of linking to further information. Policies may be printed, so must make sense when read off-line in hard copy.
  • Check with the Library to see what current editions of resources are available and if linking to an eBook/chapter/ journal article/ guideline is possible.
  • Use the principles for the inclusion of resources if you are not sure whether to include a resource in the policy.
  • If updating existing policies, check links still work and provide current information.

When You Are Done

Ask for a peer review (from the Library, someone in your team, or someone outside of your speciality that may not know the content you are explaining). The reviewer can use the above dot points as a proofing checklist.


American Psychological Association. (2010). Publications manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. (2017). The National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards (2nd ed.). Standard 1, Action 1.7 Polices and procedures. 

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). (1999). Guide to the development, evaluation and implementation of clinical practice guidelines. Australia: Commonwealth of Australia.

Punctuating Bullet Points. (2012). Retrieved from

Snooks, L. (2005). Style manual for authors, editors and printers (6th ed.). Australia: Commonwealth of Australia.

Writing Policy Documents. (2015). Retrieved from

One place to look for evidence for your policy:
TRIP database (Turning Research Into Practice) is a clinical search engine designed to allow users to quickly and easily find and use high-quality research evidence to support their practice and/or care. Found on the Clinicians Health Channel or at  
Starting New or Continuing Studies in 2020?
The Library can support you in using EndNote for assignments and research projects. 

Open to anyone currently enrolled in a university course or affiliated with a university. Please come prepared with a personal laptop and your university login details. During this session we will help you login to the eduroam WIFI, download and set up EndNote on your computer and learn how to use it to support your studies. 

Monday 24th February  12:30 -1:30
Wednesday 26th February 12:30 -1:30
Wednesday 4th March 1:00-2:00
Wednesday 11th March 1:30-2:30
Friday 13th March 1:30-2:30

Book via Grow or contact the Library.
Looking to learn how to use EndNote on your own time? This YouTube tutorial is a great place to start. 
Looking for current information on the Coronavirus? The below search string will provide you with current articles in PubMed linked to our full text.[ta]+OR+JAMA[ta]+OR+lancet[ta]+OR+BMJ[ta]+OR+med+j+aust[ta]+OR+nature[ta])&format=abstract&sort=date&size=50

The Primary Clinical Care Manual - 10th edition

The PCCM is the principal clinical reference and policy document for health professionals working in diverse rural and remote health service settings. Victoria uses the health management protocols contained within Queensland’s PCCM. 

Queensland Health, Queensland Government, Primary Clinical Care Manual - 10th edition, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 sourced on 20 January 2020

Research Lunch 2020

  • Do you have a research idea but are unsure how to get going?
  • Interested in assessing the outcomes of treatment/intervention?
  • Want to know more about health research?
  • Feeling a bit stuck; want to get back on track with your research project?
  • Thinking of evaluating a project or service?
  • What to share a project you have been working on or recently completed?

If you are interested in research please come join the Research Lunch session, 12:30-1:30 in the SWH Library. Open to all interested in undertaking health research. Our aim is to build the capacity of researchers in our region. Our first session will be on 17th February. We try to have a mix of area experts available to answer your questions including current researchers, library staff, our research governance officer, and ethics committee members.  Please feel free to bring your lunch.

Who should come?

Anyone interested in conducting their own research studies at South West Healthcare.

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