The Australian Aged Care Quality Commission has recently released a tender to increase resources to assist with the quality assessment of age care providers across Australia.
Whilst it’s heartening that the Government is looking for assistance to increase the velocity and volume of quality assessments within our provider network, it has once again missed an opportunity for the Commission to leverage technology to scale their efforts.
Aged Care Quality Standards assessments and audits have been severely reduced during the COVID pandemic, as the Government and providers focused their limited resources on COVID related activities. Given resources are so thin on the ground, it is disappointing to witness another resource heavy process continue the way it always has.
Nowhere within the tender were responders requested to include technology solutions to help them scale and to reduce human contact during the assessment. Umbrella Solutions does not believe that assessments or audits can be completely digital. There should always be a physical inspection and review. COVID has been a catalyst for change across almost all industries, but the Aged Care Commission seems oblivious to the opportunity for positive change.
We believe in the old adage, “Don’t come to me with problems, please bring solutions”, so here is what we would have liked to see:
- All aged care providers must submit their assessment, PCI (plans for continuous improvements) and audit material electronically.
- Include the use of video conferencing tools to interview staff, clients and families, reducing time spent on-site and unnecessary COVID transmission risk to the aged care facility and families.
- Auditors (Government or Third Party) should have two teams of assessors
- Assessors review the electronic material submitted by providers
- Assessors can work from anywhere (home, office, interstate, etc) limiting transmission events for COVID thus gaining access to the best resources no matter where they are located
- Issues or risks identified can be passed to Onsite assessors to review
- Conduct online interviews with staff, clients and families
- Assessors focused on dealing with issues and risks or other assessment tasks that require a physical presence
Had the government had the foresight to mandate this approach in the tender, we believe they would be able to deliver more assessments with greater safety and cost efficiency.
That is one of the fundamental reasons why Umbrella Solutions created Coverage – a specialised tool that helps aged care providers take control of the new Aged Care Quality Standards. With Coverage you can quickly collect evidence and responses for each standard and requirement, create and track your plans for continuous improvement and instantly produce reports for self-assessments, audits and plans for continuous improvement. Set up is quick and easy. All you need is an internet connection. No need for your busy IT Team to provide support.
If you would like to try Coverage we are offering a one-month free trial! You can order online at https://umbrella.solutions/coverage/ or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will have you up and running in no time.