The 'For the Board Kit' assists Chairs and CEOs to engage their governing body in discussions about key governance topics and issues relevant to the current aged care sector reforms. It enables ongoing professional development through activities that governing body members can participate in to strengthen their own knowledge.
Workforce planning and management are crucial elements to delivering quality and safe consumer-centred care that is sustainable, compliant with applicable laws, and meets both individual and community expectations. The governing body and executives must consider how the provider’s workforce plan attracts, recruits, manages and retains a skilled workforce.
Respecting Dignity of Risk
Traditionally attitudes towards risk have largely been focused on ‘what could go wrong’ rather than ‘what can go right’. In exercising their right of self-determination and being involved in decisions that impact the quality of their lives, consumers may need to take risks to live their best life - this may be referred to as ‘dignity of risk’. This could be something as small as being able to make a hot drink at any time they wish.
Continuous improvement aims to identify how well systems are working and to understand the quality of care and services being delivered. It is a systematic, ongoing effort to raise an organisation’s performance in achieving outcomes for consumers and is important that the governing body and executives set a culture of continuous improvement across the entire organisation by approaching their own decision making and strategic direction with improvement in mind.
An incident management system is not designed to eliminate all risks and incidents. Rather, it provides a system to reduce the likelihood and occurrence of risks. This will assist in ensuring that incidents are appropriately responded to, recorded and that agreed actions for change following an incident are implemented and drive improvements.
Effective Information Systems
Information management systems and processes are critical to the delivery of safe, high quality consumer-centred care. These systems and processes can assist the organisation to make informed decision making. They ensure that consumers and those involved in consumer care have access to consistent, reliable and up-to -date information – which remains secure and confidential.
Inclusive and culturally safe care in an aged care setting recognises that consumers have individual needs, preferences and expectations (as defined by them) that must be respected, supported and reflected in the planning and delivery of their care. This will help to improve their health, safety, well-being and quality of life.
Compliance with Clinical Governance Obligations
Clinical governance obligations for aged care providers are set out under the Aged Care Act 1997 and the Aged Care Quality Standards. These specify outcomes for consumers relating to their health and well-being, including through the provision of safe, high quality clinical care.
It’s important that everyone in the organisation is aware of how they can comply with clinical governance obligations, including staff having an understanding of what is expected of them in practice.
Consumer at the Centre of Care
Effective consumer engagement supports high-quality outcomes, and therefore better provider performance. Governing bodies must understand key concepts and oversee processes to ensure that consumer preferences, values and expectations are well-understood and used to inform provider approaches, operations and inform decisions about their care.
Data Driven Decision Making
Data (whether qualitative or quantitative) not only tells a story about performance; it is used to develop future performance targets and strategic objectives. For governing bodies to be able to fulfil their governance responsibilities, data should be accurate ( both in terms of being both correct and comprehensive), relevant ( to the question that is being asked or otherwise it may be taken out of context), and timely ( so the recipient of that data does not risk making out-of-date decisions).
Skills and Compositions
Structuring an effective governing body can be a challenging undertaking but it is essential for the success of an organisation and the delivery of safe, inclusive and high-quality care to consumers. Factors such as the size, composition, skills and internal dynamics are important contributors for building an effective governing body. New legislative requirements come into effect from 1 December 2022 with respect to governing body membership, skills and experience – as well as advisory body requirements.
Setting Tone from the Top
Good organisational culture can drive strong performance results, innovation, and very effective high-quality consumer-centred care. Poor organisational culture can have a direct and serious impact on consumers, and can cause a provider serious reputational damage.
Planning for the future
Setting effective strategy requires the governing body to take an active role in planning, implementing and evaluating their provider's objectives. In practical terms, this means that the governing body must understand the sector in which it operates, how the provider operates, risk outcomes and performance metrics. It must implement actions and monitor the provider's performance to inform and update the provider's strategic priorities.
Outbreak Management in Residential Care
Aged care providers have responsibility to ensure their service is continuing to do everything possible to prevent, prepare for and reduce the impact infectious disease outbreaks in their service, including for COVID-19.