One of the greatest challenges facing the Health and Aged Care sector is the need to keep pace with constantly changing laws and regulations, over and above navigating the emerging risks and disruption created by the global pandemic.
As a facility operating in Australia’s Health and Aged Care sector today, you must manage a never-ending flow of regulatory updates that impact your policies, procedures and compliance obligations. However, the more time you spend on admin and data processing, the less time you have to focus on what matters most to your organisation – such as providing world-class care to your patients and/or residents.
Let’s look at how you can take an innovative and proactive approach to solving the complex risk and compliance management challenges that lie ahead.
This year, towards the end of February or in early March, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will issue its final report. This could lead to a fundamental restructure of the sector’s regulatory framework; and all organisations in the sector must be prepared for potential reform.
Set up by the Australian Government on 8 October 2018, the Commission is looking at the quality of Aged Care services across the country and evaluating whether these are meeting the needs of the community. Many of us hope that the recommendations published in the Commission’s final report will catalyse positive transformation in the sector and play a key role in increasing standards of transparency and accountability across the board.
For example, some sector leaders believe that “Graded assessments of service performance against Aged Care Quality Standards combined with developing and publishing star ratings for service quality and safety, staffing levels and consumer experience would make providers more accountable and increase consumer confidence in care.”
Hopefully, the Commission’s report will help to introduce a series of changes like this that put patient centricity at the heart of all Health and Aged Care facilities across Australia. However, along with these opportunities, come new challenges that your organisation must be ready to face.
Rather than waiting for the report to be tabled, your organisation could take a proactive approach. Get a head start by assessing and, if necessary, honing your safety and compliance management methodologies – with the goal of building a stronger and more resilient Aged Care facility, come what may.
A good first step is to conduct a risk and compliance health check and discover opportunities for improvement.
Here are three critical questions to ask:
- Will our processes and data management approaches stand up to a higher level of regulatory scrutiny in 2021?
- Do we have the resources in place to meet rising transparency and accountability standards?
- Are we prepared to absorb future shocks?
Automation can help you manage the complexities ahead
Even before the pandemic, Health and Aged Care risk and compliance management teams were bogged down by routine, repetitive admin tasks. When conducted manually using paperwork or clunky spreadsheets, these tasks drain resources and weigh down on efficiency levels, making it more difficult to provide a good experience for the people in your care.
Making a shift to automation is a proactive step your organisation can take to make your processes more efficient, your data more accurate and accessible, and your teams more productive.
In fact, the state of technology in the sector is likely to be a key area of focus for regulatory authorities this year. During the Royal Commission’s ICT Strategy and Architecture Review, conducted by the Architecture Practice, “major deficiencies” were discovered in the Aged Care technology ecosystem. For example, the report revealed that in many facilities, “information is gathered multiple times, in burdensome ways, and then not used effectively.”
The key problem areas identified include:
- Disconnected business processes
- Lack of data collection and sharing
- Poor interoperability
- Obsolete technology
- A fundamental lack of standardisation
“We see significant opportunities to meaningfully improve the level of care that older Australians receive through improvement, consistency and innovation of the technology supporting and enabling that care.” – Royal Commission Into Aged Care Quality and Safety, ICT Strategy and Architecture Review Report.
Looking for an innovative solution to these challenges? We can help.
A solution like iPRO enables your organisation to deliver safe and quality care, by leveraging automation, advanced data analytics and human intelligence (in the form of subject matter expertise) to conduct routine and time-consuming risk and compliance management processes.
With the ability to assess and manage contractors, suppliers and allied health professionals’ compliance via iPRO Smart Badges, for instance, you can effortlessly ensure they have the right credentials in place when providing services to your facilities, whether on site or within your supply chain.
This saves time, cuts complexity, improves transparency and reduces your overall risk and compliance management burden, enabling you to dedicate more time towards delivering excellent care.
With iPRO technology capabilities working seamlessly alongside your current IT set-up, you can also streamline data management, so that risk and compliance information is always accessible, accurate and up to date. Being able to surface relevant risk information from the places it hides in your organisation, and connect this with other relevant data, enables you to inform better decisions on a daily basis.
Additionally, because flexibility is paramount in the current environment, we continue to develop our services and solutions in line with new regulatory developments and compliance obligations. For example, as new requirements emerge following the outcome of the Royal Commission, we will adapt our offering to ensure safe and quality care in line with the latest standards.
When you build agile automation capabilities into your risk and compliance management approach, you can achieve much more than saving time and reducing costs. You can also take compliance to the next level and play an active role in transforming the Health and Aged Care sector.
Are you ready to transform your compliance approach? Get in touch with us today to discuss your options.