Are you ready for the new Aged Care Standards?
Aged Care Providers are under more scrutiny than ever.
New Standards + Royal Commission + The Regulator = Increased Scrutiny
July 1st, 2019, the day that Australia’s Aged Care Quality Standards came into effect. These standards require that all aged care residents must be treated with dignity and respect and safe and effective care must be provided in aged care homes.
The new standards are really to ensure that the providers understand the consumers’ needs as a person and how to provide the right care for them as an individual by recognising their needs and emotions.
There are 8 Aged Care Quality Standards which are enforced by the Australian Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Regular assessments by the Commission’s auditors visit homes to interview residents and staff while observing their care. All documentation is reviewed to ensure that all eight standards are being met.
1. Consumer Dignity and Choice
This standard is essentially about the individual at the centre that requires support and care. Remembering that they are still a person. Ensuring that the consumer is treated with dignity and respect. It will ensure that all consumers are not all treated the same as they all have their own identity, where they are from, their beliefs, religion and culture, their sexual orientation. Similarities in many of the groups, yet so diverse and unique at the same time. This standard will assist the way services are provided. Matching staff to clients, training staff to be aware of the cultural background of the person they are taking care of, and assisting them in identifying the best option for them individually and not the centre or facility.
2. Ongoing Assessment and planning with consumers
This standard is about working together and understanding the needs of the person to build a care plan and ongoing assessment. This assessment is all about the consumer and not making any judgements about what you think is best for them or only letting them know about the services. This is all about digging a little deeper to find out what’s important to them. Showering once a day as an example is not enough, when and what time do they prefer? Are they part of a Home Care Package as an example? Do they know they can pay someone to take them to the shops, sit for a coffee at a local coffee shop? This is all part of offering solutions that they may not even have been aware of.
3. Personal care and clinical care
This standard specifies the need to manage “high-impact or high-prevalence risks associated with the care of each consumer such as falls, pain management, and medication safety. This standard is about the common risks within your organisation and how you are going to manage them. It also goes on to talk about “minimisation of infection-related risk” and how your service will provide training to your staff about good hygiene and infection control practices.
4. Services and Supports for daily living
This standard is all about providing services such as (but not limited to) food services, transport, recreational and social activities, but also ensuring that these services you provide are safe and meet the consumers’ needs by ensuring that their level of independence has been met. This is where the centre needs to think of the consumer as a whole so they can maintain their ability to participate in life and meeting their goals.
5. Organisations service environment
This standard is all about belonging, feeling safe and comfortable in the organisations service environment. Ensuring that the consumer is made to feel like they are at home and are being welcomed by the staff. Being welcomed possibly by staff that speaks the same language as the consumer and have an understanding of the culture and ay religious activities.
6. Feedbacks and complaints
This standard is all about the consumer feeling safe, encouraged and supported in giving feedback and making complaints. They are engaged in processes to address the consumers’ feedback and complaints, and appropriate action is taken. Continuous Quality Improvement and Corrective Action in response to complaints to ensure that consumers feel comfortable in raising issues. Centres need to think out of the box in obtaining the consumer’s real feelings about how they feel, how they are being treated, and what they think can improve in the centre as they may feel uneasy bringing up these issues. Staff also need to be trained on how to effectively handle these complaints, how to manage, process, and document the complaint.
The standard continues to talk about open disclosure. Not forgetting about a complaint or pretend it wasn’t said. Supporting consumer wants and listening to their needs, focussing on Continuous Quality Improvement, and always reviewing, documenting, and assessing. Last but not least, responding to these complaints in a timely manner and communicating with the consumer and their family members.
7. Human Resources
This standard requires the organisation have a workforce that is sufficient and is skilled and qualified to provide safe, respectful, and quality care and services. Quality staff is one of the key issues that has been raised time and time again in the Aged Care Royal Commission. Managing staff levels, matching staff to clients, and continuously providing training for the staff to understand the ongoing industry standards and the company’s policies and procedures.
8. Organisational Governance
This standard focuses on the consumer receiving quality care and services when needed from people who are knowledgeable, caring, and capable. Without leadership and governance, an organisation will not be able to provide great service for its consumers. Effective risk management systems and practices including managing high impact or high prevalence risk associated with the care of consumers is key.
Systems help organisations manage governance more effectively. Organisations need to manage and maintain consumers’ records in accordance with Aged Care legislation as well as making this information quickly, and accessible for the assessors.
Tickit On Demand can help with maintaining all records, policies, procedures as well as an Incident Management System.
An Incident management system to determine, in relation to specific incidents and near misses:
- What happened?
- How and why it happened?
- What can be done to reduce the risk of recurrence and support safer care?
- What was learned?
- How the learning can be shared?
Adopting an incident management system will assist providers to:
- Provide safe, quality care and services for consumers
- Promote a culture of reporting, with a focus on understanding, learning, and improvement
- Take a systematic approach to minimising the risk of incidents occurring
- Support consumers, their families/representatives, and staff appropriately should an incident occur
- Resolve any incidents that may occur
- Take action to prevent incidents from recurring