Take the stress out of Aged Care Quality Audits

An Assessment Team has just arrived to conduct an unannounced site audit.  You know you are doing the right thing.  Your staff are well trained, your consumers are happy, your organisation runs well.  So why have your palms gone sweaty and your heart rate gone up?

Thoughts race through your mind.

  • The team know what they are doing but are they ready to answer interview questions with the assessors?
  • We have documents but where are the most current versions?
  • We’ve been doing some great things to improve but have we recorded the actions, outcomes and evidence in our PCI?
  • When did we do that?
  • Why didn’t we capture that feedback somewhere?
  • How can we gather evidence in a hurry?
  • What good things have we done that we’ve forgotten?….

To avoid this stress the process of managing aged care quality shouldn’t be something that happens only around the time of an audit or assessment.  Quality management works best when it is part of the day-to-day culture of an organisation.

The Aged Care Quality Standards should be a natural part of any aged care service by building a ‘Quality Culture’.  There are many ways to do this. Some of the more successful organisations achieve a ‘Quality Culture’ through:

  • discussions and training at daily and weekly team and management meetings.  It can be detailed or, for the daily meetings just a simple couple of questions like ‘How did we go yesterday?’ ‘How can we do better today or as well today?’ – and then capture that great information.
  • finding ways to best let consumers, their nominated representatives, allied health personnel, volunteers, suppliers and contractors know what the organisation has been doing to improve and seeking feedback on what they are doing well or what can be further improved.
  • providing a central repository for staff to record all this great information quickly and easily and have confidence that they are accessing the latest version of the required information.
  • Most importantly, the executive team leads from the front and makes quality count – resulting in a caring and high-quality service.

 Why build a ‘Quality Culture”?

It helps build the self-esteem of your staff as they start to take notice of and record evidence of the things they are improving or already doing well.

  • It encourages a culture of open communication at all levels where people, both staff and consumers, are not afraid to speak up about how things are done – both good and bad.
  • The team knows where to go to find the latest processes, procedures, and PCIs, and they are comfortable to add evidence, evaluations and feedback.
  • The team are thinking about quality every day (even if subconsciously) so they are ready to talk about their quality processes with auditors and assessors if an unannounced assessment occurs.
  • It shares the responsibility of thinking about how things could be done better – and you’ll be amazed where some of these great ideas come from.
  • It encourages the team to capture all this on a daily basis and, if they have a central place to record it quickly and simply without taking away from their daily care responsibilities, they will do it.
  • Your consumers feel they are treated with dignity and respect and their care is provided in an inclusive, safe, and culturally appropriate way.
  • Capturing quality data on an ongoing basis reduces the stress of audits and assessments exponentially as you have the information at your fingertips.

Umbrella Solutions has developed Coverage, a specialised tool that helps aged care providers take control of the Aged Care Quality Standards.  With Coverage any one of your team can quickly collect and upload evidence and responses for each standard and requirement, access your policies, procedures, supporting documentation and toolkits, and produce reports for self-assessments, audits and plans for continuous improvement.  If you have more than one service, no problem, you can also report across multiple facilities and home care services all in the one place.

Umbrella Solutions has developed Coverage, a specialised tool that helps aged care providers take control of the Aged Care Quality Standards. With Coverage any one of your team can quickly collect and upload evidence and responses for each standard and requirement, access your policies, procedures, supporting documentation and toolkits, and produce reports for self-assessments, audits and plans for continuous improvement. If you have more than one service, no problem, you can also report across multiple facilities and home care services all in the one place.

If you need help with policies, procedures, templates, toolbox talks and a vast array of other helpful resources to ensure your quality processes are in line with the Aged Care Quality Standards then the Resource Hub provided by our partners at Culturally Directed Care Solutions will be a great asset for you. Together, the combination of Coverage and the Resource Hub provides an easy to use, low cost, highly functional set of tools to assist in day-to-day management and prepare you for any audit or assessment.

If you would like a low-cost means of taking the stress out of audits, contact Umbrella Solutions and let our team help you build a quality culture.

Posted in Customers, Government Initiatives, Software and Services.