When we ask our health care providers what one of their biggest challenges is, they often say that they’re strapped for time. Time constraints and competing priorities often means that outdated processes and policies are overlooked.
However, assessment and monitoring against the new Aged Care Quality Standards (ACQS) commenced on 1st July 2019 giving you the opportunity to update any systems, policies and practices to ensure they are aligned with the new standards.
A proactive approach is best when evaluating processes and services by following these three steps:
1. Identify processes/policy gaps for opportunities or improvement
2. Outline any risks and highlight best practice
3. Develop a solution
These will work interchangeably with each other as an ongoing process to improve the quality of care and services at your facility. A key element of this continuous improvement includes regular monitoring and evaluation of systems and needs of care recipients.
A start to this transition period is to educate staff members, care recipients and their families to understand the requirements of the new ACQS and what these changes mean for residents. Then to identify any present issues, we also recommend that you encourage any staff members and care residents to document any policies they see that may require improvement.
Allowing for an open conversation without discipline during this time period will encourage your team to identify any needs for improvement and allow a facility to act accordingly to develop quality care for its residents
When time constraints are an issue, as in the case with many health providers, there is the opportunity to also source an external company to assist. This allows you to just focus on implementing recommendations instead.
An example of this is with our own Health, Hygiene and Safety Surveys. These are designed to specifically identify areas of risk within your facility and to guide your continuous improvement process. Using a risk-based approach, our own accredited HHS Specialists will conduct a thorough survey of your facility’s processes and equipment measured against the new accreditation standards and industry compliance regulations.
While updating policies may seem daunting, solutions can be as simple as changing products or showing a ‘correct’ way to update and implement a new process. An ongoing evaluation of processes and policies is vital in improving care and will impact the perception and future of the aged care industry.