Getting started with your response to the Royal Commission findings

When The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety handed down its recommendations for reforming the Australian aged care industry, one thing was clear. And that the sector was long in need of an overhaul to ensure older Australians received an optimal level of care.

Four key areas identified for focus were the need for

  1. A rights-based aged care system,
  2. Stronger governance,
  3. Improved workforce conditions and capability, and
  4. A new funding model.

Specifically, 148 wide-ranging recommendations were made by the Commission, leaving those operating within the sector asking, “where do we start?” and “how do we prioritise?”

Responding to the Commission’s findings has left many providers in a state of feeling overwhelmed, but as LightArc’s Ashley How suggests, dealing with the recommendations needs to be like eating an elephant, “one bite at a time”, and picking the priority activities and going after them first.

Why organising data throughout the entire operation is important

The process of organising and systematising data across operations, people and finances will be the crucial first step for Aged Care providers as they work to get a handle on the recommendations and put together a response plan. To do this, there needs to be an initial point of recognition where the organisation acknowledges there’s a benefit to assimilating all of their operational data into a single platform for ease of management and reporting. Engaging the services of an external provider, like LightARC, can be valuable because they bring an impartial perspective and can analyse the situation with the objective of providing the desired outcome. Those working within the organisation are often focused on the day-to-day delivery of service keeping them busy with frontline priorities and there’s little time and energy available for exploring alternative strategies and needed change management processes.

Commencing a systematic overhaul of any Aged Care organisation would need to begin with a discovery process to work through the structure of the current information environment by examining its mechanics, who holds responsibility for specific data, and related performance outcomes. The senior management team for each of the departments within the provider business can then identify key priorities.

Conducting a workflow discovery process helps to understand how the business currently functions, what works well and where there are potential improvements that can be made. Once the flow of data is clearly understood it’s possible to plan for standardisation and streamlining of processes to make the organisation more efficient. The introduction of a single and comprehensive platform can bring data together from payroll, rostering, and client occupancy at the push of a button which frees up time and resources that can be reinvested back into frontline care. The efficiency of this and subsequent reduced managerial labour costs satisfies an important part of the Royal Commission’s requirements.


The benefit of data-mapping and automation

Clear data-mapping and automation can then bring lower-priority issues to mind with the opportunity to implement changes that, when all combined, can result in significant economic efficiencies for the business. As How says, “the side effect of a single platform for data is that you actually create analytical capability across every facility that you might never have touched before. So the power of data is when you can leverage it across the entire organisation, and suddenly you see new insights because you have visibility across every piece of work.”

From here, it’s important that all members of staff are kept in the loop about the changes taking place within the organisation and why they’re being implemented. A clear and concise communication strategy should be implemented so everyone understands their role in meeting the new standards set out by the Royal Commission.

The final piece of the puzzle is to ensure that the Aged Care organisation has the right people in place to carry out these changes. The team at LightArc have a wealth of experience in working with Aged Care providers to help them get the most out of their data and operational processes. Get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can help your organisation meet the requirements of the Royal Commission.

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