Large provider calls for tailored accreditation programs

The organisation says accreditation should remain in place unless it’s revoked and successful homes should receive fewer visits.

One of NSW’s largest providers has called for a new approach to the accreditation system for residential care in a submission to the Commonwealth’s accreditation review.

UnitingCare Ageing NSW.ACT wants accreditation to remain in place for homes unless it is revoked due to non-compliance or poor performance.

The organisation told AAA that it spends close to $1 million preparing for accreditation throughout NSW and the ACT.

However it says the fees and self-assessment process associated with the current accreditation cycle are burdensome and produce few actual benefits for residents.

The group’s Director, Gillian McFee says accreditation programs for homes should be tailored around past performance.

She says the agency’s auditors should focus their attention on those facilities that have quality issues, while homes with good records should not have to be subjected to the same amount of scrutiny.

“If you have a good track record, it would not only be better for the agency, but it would be better for us as providers, if they were to focus on poorer performing facilities,” she said.

“Good performers should be rewarded by not having to go through the process again if they have got good risk management systems in place.”

UnitingCare Ageing NSW.ACT is interested in exploring the possibilities of using electronic care management systems to provide regular reports on quality.
“We would well support the development of a set of key clinical KPIs for us to be submitting once a quarter,” said Ms McFee.

“The agency could then use that as a performance indicator as to where to put their efforts.”

In its submission the organisation also called for a greater focus on residents throughout the accreditation process.

Ms McFee said that although 27 of the 44 standards are about resident outcomes, the agency’s reports do not give enough weight to client feedback.

“The assessors need to focus on the outcomes of the clients they interview and how their personal expectations and goals are being met,” she said.

“A good interview process would be one where the assessors are talking to the resident with their care plan, and lining up what the resident was telling them with the quality of the care plan.”

Tags: accreditation, accreditation-agency, review, unitingcare,

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