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RACGP Standards Update: Interpretation Advice GP5.2A

Following recent inquiries about the application and interpretation of the assessment of GP5.2A in relation to an ECG, after seeking advice from the RACGP, please be advised of the following:

The decision to require accredited general practices to have an electrocardiograph (ECG), rather than just timely access to one, was based on patient care being optimised in the event of an emergency. Key equipment, such as the ECG, is required to make judgements about patient care and to safely monitor patients.

It is the advice of the RACGP that in order to satisfy GP5.2►A, the general practice must have an ECG onsite, within the physical practice. This is in line with the change in wording of GP5.2►D from: Our practice has timely access to a spirometer and electrocardiograph, to the requirement for a practice to have an ECG as part of their mandatory practice equipment.

Where a general practice has an onsite pathology (or other) service that has an ECG, the practice could meet GP5.2A if they can provide the following documentation:

  • evidence related to quality assurance / testing of the machine,
  • evidence of who is assigned responsibility for ensuring quality assurance and testing of the machine,
  • where practice staff are performing the ECG, evidence that they have been adequately trained in the use of that equipment, and
  • a plan in the event of the onsite pathology (or other) service moving off the practice’s premises.

If access to, and the use of, an ECG that is not practice-owned is restricted such as in situations where the onsite pathology (or other) service is closed while the practice is open, the practice would be considered as not meeting the requirement of GP5.2A.