Clinical governance is an umbrella term used to describe a wide variety of activities carried out by healthcare workers to improve the quality of services. It is a continuous process and not a single event, thus clinical governance is emerging as a specialisation in itself. It requires organisation-wide cultural change. It is about creating a system to manage poor performance and finding new approaches for improving the standards by learning from failures.
It is a concept that is similar to corporate governance in business, and gained relevance in healthcare in the 1990s. This article by Firza Group looks into the various principles of clinical governance, the role of the pharmacist and its career challenges, along with perspectives.
Why clinical governance matters
Clinical governance is about integrating quality improvement and professional development to confirm that everyone on the team provides his or her best. It is about moving towards multidisciplinary education and team-based learning.
Clinical governance is mandatory for GP's. The recommendation is for them to have at least 30 hours of continuing professional education and three audits each year. And of course, pharmacists play a critical role in clinical governance too.
Role of the pharmacist in delivering clinical governance
Clinical governance is not a new phenomenon and has been practiced by pharmacists for years. It should not be considered something extra or optional. From a pharmacist perspective, it should include:
Clinical governance is essential for all healthcare stakeholders. It aims to improve every aspect of medical practice, and pharmacists have a vital role to play in it. Therefore, pharmacists must learn from their mistakes, invest in continuous learning, and ensure that they continuously improve their practice.
Career opportunities for pharmacist and clinical governance
So as pharmacists start getting more and more involved in clinical governance, it also opens up many possibilities. Slowly, a new kind of role is emerging, and now, large hospital pharmacies are appointing a separate person to take care of clinical governance.
Generally, a senior pharmacist with several years of experience is appointed for such a job, as it requires lots of knowledge and various skills. It is a job that requires identifying problematic areas and coming up with solutions.
People working in the area of clinical governance find the job highly satisfying, as it has different responsibilities. Another source of satisfaction for pharmacists in this job is the realisation that their job makes a significant impact on patient care.
Interested in the job of clinical governance?
Specialists advise that it is a job for those with at least five or more years of experience. It is a job for pharmacists who have worked at various positions earlier, and have good medical knowledge and clinical experience.
It's usually a more senior management role. However, various institutions may have specific requirements. A couple of decades back when it was all starting, there were no official courses on clinical governance. However, nowadays there are many courses available from online certificate programs to masters in clinical governance.
Most of those working in the field find the job highly rewarding due to the direct impact it makes on improving patient care. For many, what really appeals is that it is a role that involves making changes to healthcare practice, improving services.
Another attractive factor in the job is diversity. On one day, a person may work with the diabetes treatment protocol, and on another day, they may be working on alcohol-withdrawal, or looking at the risk of paediatric drugs. Thus there are lots of learning opportunities and great scope for personal development.
Financial rewards for the job are also something that attracts many towards clinical governance.
And on a final note, some pharmacists experienced in clinical governance warn that this job is not for everyone. Rather it is a job for people with thick skin. It is a job for those who do not worry about being unpopular or disliked by others. That being said, the rewards certainly outweigh the risks.
Interested in helping our GP's with Clinical Governance? Then please send your CV and a Cover Letter to firstname.lastname@example.org