Aged care facilities in Australia must comply with certain guidelines to ensure the highest quality of care for patients. These standards are outlined in the Aged Care Quality Standards.
In July of 2019, these standards underwent an update to improve industry quality. But what are the expectations of the new standards, and what do they mean for patients in aged care facilities? Here’s everything you need to know.
The 8 Aged Care Quality Standards
The new Aged Care Quality Standards are split into eight separate principles. Each of these has been put in place to ensure patients receive the care they need, and that they are kept safe with standard precautions for infection control.
1: Patient Dignity and Choice
This standard has been put in place to make sure patients have a say in their care and how they live their life. Those able to make informed decisions must be allowed to decide how they are looked after. Patients should be kept well-informed about their care and they have the right to choose to involve family, friends or carers.
2: Ongoing Assessment and Planning with Patients
Aged care facilities should regularly assess the health and well-being of patients. This allows facilities to deliver the best possible care and services, and address all of the patient’s needs. Any current needs or issues can be addressed, and future care or end of life plans made too.
3: Personal and Clinical Care
After patients are assessed, the aged care facility will need to provide best practice personal and/or clinical care. The care services provided should optimise the health and well-being of the patient and respect to the patient’s preferences.
While providing care, facilities must abide by infection control policies and procedures. Aged patients are more vulnerable when it comes to contracting illnesses and diseases, but proper infection control precautions can keep patients safe.
4: Services and Supports for Daily Living
Daily living is vital when it comes to patients’ emotional well-being. This standard gives patients the right to make decisions about how they live their day-to-day life. Facilities must then provide the support needed to promote independence and help patients achieve the best possible quality of life. For example, aged care facilities may help patients with domestic assistance, food services, transport, home maintenance and even leisure activities.
5: Organisation’s Service Environment
This standard requires aged care facilities to consider their environment. Patients should feel happy, comfortable and safe in the facility. The space should be well-maintained and feel welcoming and inviting to patients.
Cleanliness is a key priority in this new Aged Care Quality Standard, as facilities should also be safe and clean to reduce the risk of any infections spreading.
6: Feedback and Complaints
Aged care facilities should strive to offer the best care for patients, and feedback can help facilities improve patient satisfaction. Aged care homes should encourage patients to leave feedback about their experience, and even complaints if they’re not happy. Patients and friends or family members should feel comfortable expressing their opinions.
7: Human Resources
When it comes to aged care, the staff providing care should be knowledgeable, skilled, compassionate. They should also be respectful of individuals, as well as their needs and their culture. Infection control in aged care also requires staff to be well-trained in safety and hygiene procedures.
8: Organisational Governance
Behind every great facility is a well-run organisation. The July 2019 Aged Care Quality Standards recognise that organisations need an effective governance system to ensure the highest quality care is delivered.
This standard requires organisations to continually communicate, evaluate and evolve, all while taking customer feedback into account and protecting patients from risks such as infection.
Infection control is one of the focus points of the new Aged Care Quality Standards Update. If your facility needs advice on how to implement effective infection control policies and procedures, book a free 20-minute consultation with one of our experts. We can help you reduce risk and improve patient safety and satisfaction.