Our industry has been under intense scrutiny since the Royal Commission and subsequent changes communicated by the Department of Health throughout the pandemic. Understanding and learning from these experiences are key to ensuring ongoing compliance.
Due to the demand created by the pandemic on the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC), we have seen exceptions granted extending accreditation without assessment contacts, site audits or review audits. Despite these extensions, between January 2021 – March 2021 the ACQSC have found 154 homes to be non-compliant with the standards and have issued 114 directions, 29 non-compliance notices, 2 notices to agree, 8 sanctions and have attended 899 site visits.
During the January – March 2021 quarter, the standards which were most not complied with were:
- 3(3)(a): Safe and effective personal and clinical care
- 3(3)(b): High impact or high prevalence risks managed effectively
- 2(3)(a): Safe and effective care and services
- 7(3)(a): Number and mix of workforce
- 8(3)(d): Risk management systems and practices
The above standards have been listed in the top non-compliant standards for the past two quarters. The frequency of these non-compliances suggests our industry should be focusing more on solutions to mitigate the risk of non-compliance in these requirements.
What questions should you ask?
- Do consumers state that they feel safe and have we got evidence of their feedback?
- When did we last evaluate systems and processes to ensure effectiveness and/or sought feedback from consumers, workforce and others who provide care/services?
- Does my workforce truly understand what ‘risks’ are and how we partner with consumers to mitigate risks and is this documented in the care and services plan?
- What technology is available to demonstrate my workforce skills mix and numbers?
- Do I believe I will be able to effectively demonstrate compliance to each of the above requirements?
- Have my risk management systems been tested and evaluated both internally and through a third party to ensure effectiveness?
Keep in mind a proactive approach to quality, risk management and compliance is key to ensuring effective governance frameworks. A preventative approach is far less costly than getting it wrong.
Utilising a combination of internal and independent assurance processes can help you determine and understand where key risks are and recognise how they impact on consumer outcomes and organisational compliance.
The Mirus quality, risk and compliance team offer a range of solutions to support organisations to ensure compliance – ask us how!