The new Aged Care Quality Standards – Standard 5: Clinical Care

November 29, 2022 | Quality

Quality Standard 5: Clinical Care

By Katie Airey, Quality, Risk and Compliance Lead 

As part of the Aged Care reform, the Department of Health and Aged Care (DoHAC) are undertaking a review of the Quality Standards. On the 3rd November 2022 the DoHAC held a focus group to seek feedback on the draft Quality Standards – Standard 5: Clinical Care from consumers, aged care providers and workers.

Standard 5: Clinical Care

The draft Standard 5 draws on elements of Standard 2 Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers, Standard 3 – Personal and clinical care and Standard 8 – Organisational Governance of the current Quality Standards.

The intention of Standard 5 – Clinical Care, is that it outlines the responsibilities that Providers have in delivering evidence-based, best practice, safe and quality clinical care to older people. This Standard is reliant on systems and processes from across Standards 1-7. The governing body is ultimately responsible for implementing a clinical governance framework which supports compliance and enables ongoing monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvement.

The Standard retains many of the current concepts including;

  • Delivering care in line with the persons assessed needs, goals and preferences
  • Implementing a clinical governance framework
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Maximising dignity for older people nearing end of life

And aims to strengthen the focus on the below areas;

Use of digital clinical information systems – Providers will need to ensure they are working towards enabling their clinical information to be integrated and that systems they use support interoperability (sharing of data between different systems) to enable continuity in care for older people.

Medication Safety – The provider must implement systems and processes to ensure the safe and quality use of medicines. These systems and processes must be aligned to evidenced -based guidance and mitigate risks associated with medication.

Reducing and managing specific clinical risks – Providers must identify clinical risks to the older person and deliver comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary and holistic care to older people. They must facilitate access to experts and enable collaboration between workers and others involved in the older persons care. Providers must ensure systems and processes are in place to enable older people and their representatives to escalate concerns regarding clinical care and ensure equipment, devices and products support the management of clinical risks.

Standard 5 – Overview

Expectation statement for older people
I receive safe, effective, and person-centred clinical care which meets my needs.

Outcomes Statements:

5.1: Clinical governance
The governing body meets its duty of care to older people and the community, and continuously improves the safety and quality of the provider’s clinical care. The provider integrates clinical governance into corporate governance to actively manage and improve the safety and quality of clinical care.

5.2: Preventing and controlling infections in clinical care
Infection risks are minimised and, if they occur, are managed effectively. Older people, workers and others are encouraged and supported to use antimicrobials appropriately to reduce risks of increasing resistance.

5.3: Medication Safety
Medicines-related risks to older people are identified and reduced. Medicine-related incidents are analysed and acted on to improve the safe and quality use of medicines.

5.4: Comprehensive care
Older people receive safe, quality and person-centred clinical care. Clinical safety risks to older people are identified, managed and minimised.

5.5: Care at the end of life
The older person’s needs, goals and preferences for care at the end of life are recognised and addressed. The older person’s pain and symptoms are actively managed, their dignity is preserved, and their representatives are informed and supported at the end of life and during the last days of life.

Combined, the outcomes from Standard 5 – Clinical care have 35 actions to support providers in demonstrating compliance.

Feedback during the focus group indicated there are many differing views on the clinical care standard and how these outcomes and actions are applied in practice across the aged care sector. The Department of Health and Aged Care advised they will continue to review feedback provided in order to ensure a comprehensive and collaborated approach is taken prior to the finalising details for the pilot.

To provide a submission online with your feedback click here.

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