A recent article in the SMH has outlined some recent issues related to non-compliance in the aged care sector. Two nursing homes have had their funding removed for new residents due to non-compliance in audit findings. In the audits conducted by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, the nursing homes did not meet all of their 44 expected outcomes. Issues that were mentioned in the audit reports are reported to include:

  • Errors related to medication management
  • Concerns related to staff clinical knowledge and skills
  • Poor management of incidents of physical and verbal aggression
  • Staffing issues (allocation)
  • A lack of up-to-date training for infection control and manual handling

This is a good reminder of the importance of quality systems in all work environments. It is particularly important in the aged care environment. Quality systems for these areas are multi-faceted and but still must follow the basic quality approach of PDCA (Plan, Do Check Act), which is integral to all quality systems.

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The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency is introducing new standards for Aged Care in July this year. These, along with unannounced audits, will increase the scrutiny placed on aged and community care organisations, and mean the importance of having effective systems is paramount. In coming posts, we will be outlining important aspects of a quality system for aged care.