Driving continuous improvement in Aged Care

-A look into the vital role of KPIs and reporting-

Royal commissioners Tony Pagone and Lynelle Briggs have said that the unbiased measurement and reporting of performance is vital to create accountability and continuous improvement within the aged care sector.

A Research paper written by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute for the Aged Care Royal Commission has called for the introduction of around 10 additional quality indicators as well as the need for an independent regulatory body to oversee monitoring and reporting of quality outcomes. An increase in KPIs from the current 3 indicators within the sector would aim to bring Australia more in line with leading quality reporting standards demonstrated by countries like Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and the USA. 

When making comparisons to leading countries the report found Australia’s performance to be varied in terms of the quality, safety and care provided for residential aged care. It is important to note that comparisons could only be made on the three mandatory performance measures in place being pressure injuries, use of physical restraint and unplanned weight loss which are used to understand aspects of quality of care provided in aged care homes across Australia. Author of the report Associate Professor Gillian Caughey, a principal research fellow at the Registry of Senior Australians (ROSA) has said “It is imperative that Australia establish increased monitoring of aged care quality and safety indicators using currently available data to include a range of indicators that places no extra burden to aged care providers.” 

Canada uses 16 clinical quality indicators to measure care for all people who get publicly funded aged care services in home and community settings. Importantly the KPIs listed not only measure the physical health of those in care but also their daily activity, mood, cognition, falls, pain, and caregiver distress. Professor Gillian Caughey goes on to highlight that “Quality of life data collection needs to also be embedded within data collection in aged care and included within the outcome monitoring system also.”

The royal commissioners Tony Pagone and Lynelle Briggs have said  “Without it (performance indicators and measurement reporting), problems are hidden from sight and not addressed,” the Commissioners went on to say “independent measurement and public reporting is essential for the good operation of the aged care system.”

When faced with a period of uncertainty investing in technology and software to help strategise, plan, act, review and communicate could largely improve internal processes, create agility and build corporate resilience. Building corporate resilience requires more than just tacking on new ideas or platforms onto your current strategy. Building corporate resilience requires a fundamentally different approach that embraces complexity, uncertainty, interdependence, systems thinking, and a multi-timescale perspective. In short simply buying and implementing strategic or KPI software won’t give you the type of strategic planning advantage that you might be looking for.

Online platforms such as Skefto can quickly and easily facilitate any industry reporting requirements while building and maintaining employee engagement. By outlining quality indicators as KPIs and recording findings regularly, Age Care providers can enhance transparency and accountability between care workers, management, boards and independent bodies. By using real time findings Aged Care providers can gain the meaningful insight required to identify opportunities for improvement, growth and future successes. 

Working closely with leading Aged Care industry management consultants who can assist with implementation Skefto allows for strategic framework and KPIs to be set at board, director or management level. Objectives and Key Results can filter down throughout an organisation and KPIs provide valuable insight as to how performance is tracking. Software Systems like this bridge the gap between strategy development, planning, execution and performance to ensure activities are aligned and reported on.  Reports can be viewed in real time through an automated system of reporting and business intelligence with little manual intervention. 

Automated and web based software solutions such as skefto can reduce the administration and perceived resources required to monitor and report on mandatory performance indicators leaving more time to drive quality of care, carer relationships, support and engagement of your community.

Find out more about how you can give your strategy a Sparc with skefto strategic planning and performance software today.

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[1]   Community Care View  Home care reporting lags on international scale

[2]   Australian Ageing Agenda Collection of many quality indicators possible without provider burden

[3]   Royal Commission into Aged Care Australia far behind in monitoring aged care quality

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