Part 3 of the Aged Care Quality Standards Series
The new Aged Care Quality Standards are now in place across Australia. The standards apply to all aged care services, including residential care, home care, flexible care and services under the Commonwealth Home Support Program. Now is the time to familiarise yourself with them.
In order to meet the standards, staff must be well-equipped and feel confident in delivering the best possible care. To support this, Go1 has partnered with Australian training provider Aged Care Learning Solutions to bring you all the online training courses you need to be ACQS compliant.
Standard 3 looks at providing consumers with high-quality personal and clinical care. Meeting the requirements for this standard is closely linked to the assessment guidelines set out in Standard 2, as monitoring and planning with consumers is essential for delivering the best possible service.
As those working in aged care organisations will know, a significant amount of time is allocated to supporting consumers with personal and clinical care. Personal and clinical care includes areas such as management of unexpected deterioration or change, preventing falls and medication management. The delivery of personal and clinical care is expected to be best practice and most importantly tailored for each person to promote their health and wellbeing.
To summarise the guidelines set out in Standard 3, there are a number of aspects to delivering an excellent level of personal and clinical care. As an aged care organisation leader or staff member, it is important to be aware of these overarching themes:
Below is our checklist of questions for aged care providers to use and to generate conversation around the topic. The advice we share is to be implemented at the discretion of those responsible for the quality of aged care provision. Staff wishing to implement changes should do so in consultation with colleagues and line managers.
Whether you feel confident in delivering a high standard of personal and clinical care, or you think there is room for improvement within your organisation, this checklist will help you to review the service you provide:
Ensuring all staff members are up to date with the latest knowledge and research in their industry is important for any successful organisation. This is particularly true of those who are responsible for the care of vulnerable members of the community.
Online learning resources, such as those Aged Care Learning Solutions has prepared, are a great way for your organisation to meet the requirements of the new standards, and for ongoing professional development (Log in to view of you have a Go1 Premium portal). With online resources, staff members can also study at their own pace - particularly useful when staff spend the majority of their working day interacting with consumers.
Meeting this requirement comes back to ensuring your assessment and planning systems are rigorous. Assessment for risk should take place regularly in consultation with the consumer. For example, if there is a risk for choking, the consumer’s care plan must include detailed information for ways to reduce the risk based on best practice and strictly followed by all involved in their care.
This requirement focuses on personal and clinical care at the end of a consumer’s life. It is important to understand that dying and death are a part of the human experience, not a medical event. Where the consumer is experiencing physical, psychological or spiritual distress, there needs to be a timely response to limit suffering and ensure the consumer’s dignity is maintained.
Where consumers experience health conditions or impairments which limit their ability to complete daily activities, changes to their situation or a deterioration both need to be recognised as quickly as possible. Early recognition could improve or reverse loss of function, or ensure that a higher level of ongoing care is put in place in a timely manner.
It is important to note that how these conditions or impairments might restrict the consumer will depend on the individual and the environment they are living in. Each consumer should be treated as an individual, and staff members should avoid making generalisations when providing care.
Effective and practical processes for communicating information and record keeping is fundamental to consumers getting the best care and services for their needs, wants, goals and preferences. Good information systems result in the people having all and current information to respond to consumer’s present needs. When changes happen the information must be updated and freshly communicated.
Many consumers will have complex care needs or specific needs requiring a range of external and specialist service delivery. Once needs are determined with the full involvement of the consumer plans should be made to provide timely access to the services best suited to meet their needs. Organisations will benefit from have well developed networks with others so the many and varies needs of consumers can be met.
The minimisation of infection related risk holds great levity as older people are extremely vulnerable. Morbidity and mortality rates are high when they acquire an infection and if the treatment is not appropriate.
Diligent standard infection control measures and extra precautions along with hand hygiene are the cornerstones of infection prevention.
The excessive use of antimicrobials including antibiotics is prevalent amongst older people and the impact of an antimicrobial resistant (AMR) infection poses a great risk to their safety and wellbeing. Antimicrobial stewardship many be a new concept for some organisations so it imperative your staff have the knowledge they need and the systems are in place to deliver good and safe use of antimicrobials.
On reflection, are there any improvements you need to make to the personal and clinical care service in your organisation? For information and support with meeting the requirements for Standard 3, you can find more reflective questions on the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website.
Aged Care Learning Solutions provides 18 topics under Standard 3 including: