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National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards: About the Searches

About the Searches

These PubMed live searches provide updated results for 11 topics aligned to the Australian National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards. They have been developed, tested and endorsed as part of the HeLiNS (Health Libraries for the National Standards) Research Project, a joint initiative of HLA (Health Libraries Australia) and HLI (Health Libraries Inc).

The searches have been created by a librarian with expertise in searching for evidence on health. They have undergone extensive internal testing, but have not been developed as objectively derived and validated search filters. Each search (and subset search string) has undergone consultation and review by a panel of health librarians with searching expertise and knowledge of the needs and interests of the targeted audience.

Audiences for the searches:

  • Primarily aimed at clinicians working in Australian hospitals who wish to find evidence to support best practice in line with Australian National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards;
  • Researchers, safety and quality staff, health service managers, policymakers, and consumers;
  • Health librarians are encouraged to use the searches and to make them available to their clients through promotion and linking from websites, resources and user guides.

The searches target information on the 11 topics,  of relevance to best practice in Australian hospital settings. They have been designed for this purpose and are NOT intended to be comprehensive. They aim to provide high specificity (relevance) so that results returned will be of immediate use. The base search for each topic focuses on a hospital setting and is limited to the last 5 years. Subsets are provided for each topic, including:

  • Australian only
  • Last 12 months only
  • Reviews
  • Guidelines
  • Quality improvement

Search strategies for these subsets have either been created internally, or used an existing published search (PubMed Systematic Reviews Subset Search Strategy[1] for reviews, CADTH search filter for Guidelines[2]). For each topic a broader (more sensitive search) is also provided, not limited by hospital setting or date. This search is also not validated and cannot be claimed to be comprehensive, but will be useful as a starting point (and source of search terms) for searching for research purposes.

The searches are provided in PubMed, a platform that is freely available and a source of high quality health evidence. We encourage users to send any comments or suggestions on improving the searches, and to build on them where necessary, using their own terms. For example, the large topic of Partnering with Consumers can be narrowed to focus on a topic of particular interest, e.g. Palliative care. Run, for example, the search for Partnering with Consumers (Quality Improvement) and then using the AND operator, combine it with your search on your topic of palliative care. You will retrieve a smaller number of results, about quality improvement in partnering with consumers, in your area of interest.


We welcome feedback and suggestions about the searches. Please send comments to Sarah Hayman.