Currently, we are finding one of the biggest challenges for aged care providers is navigating the AN-ACC and the new care minute requirements. As an aged care provider, you will be trying to:
- Balance care minute requirements and the compliance implication
- Ensure the delivery of quality care that connects to consumers’ needs and preferences
- Satisfy the organisation is financially viability given direct care wages are providers’ largest cost
- Understand the impact of care minutes in terms of star rating, noting the Department of Health and Aged Care has indicated care minutes has a 22% weighting
The Key to Success
Workforce productivity underpins the entire operational framework and is fundamental to success and sustainability. Anchor has worked with a number of providers nationally to investigate and support them in understanding their workforce productivity.
Conducting a workforce analysis using the Anchor Workforce Demand Analysis Tool (AWDAT) has enabled organisations to better understand each consumer’s individual care needs and the time staff spend supporting these consumers.
We recently undertook a workforce demand analysis for two providers.
One had met their targeted care minutes under AN-ACC yet was non-compliant in Standard 7 (3) (a) ‘Number and mix of workforce’. Interestingly, this shows that compliance with care minutes does not definitively mean providers are delivering quality care and have efficient practices.
Below are a few (but not all) examples of the workforce demand analysis results;
The insight gained – inefficient direct care processes, e.g. RNs were spending over 40 minutes per day just on wound management for some consumers, limiting the time RNs would spend on other aspects of care.
Outcome – additional best practice training was implemented, which improved clinical outcomes, reduced risk and reduced RN time required to deal with complex wound management issues.
The insight gained – time spent on medication rounds was high, highlighting potential issues in duplication of roles, medical competencies and the efficient management of medication.
Outcome – all the roles and competencies of medication staff were reviewed to ensure efficient utilisation of staff to meet care needs.
The insight gained – the analysis showed a peak demand for care staff in the morning, especially given consumer personal hygiene preferences, but overstaffing in the afternoon shift.
Outcome – staff were reallocated to the morning shift to meet the surge demand, thereby ensuring consumers’ needs were met without impacting the quality of care.
The insight gained – identified opportunities for consumers to be re-assessed under AN-ACC based on the care needs and time spent with each consumer.
Outcome – funding was aligned with the cost of providing care.
The insight gained – the analysis based on consumer need uncovered an opportunity to improve engagement and staff interaction at mealtimes and enhance the dining experience.
Outcome – staffing levels at mealtimes increased with the Lifestyle Team’s support.
In addition, conducting the analysis ensured;
- There was time allocated for Behavioural Support.
- The workflow of all care staff aligned with the roles and responsibilities, assuring care staff were involved in and accountable for all aspects of care delivery.
- That there was sufficient lifting equipment to meet the number of two-person assist requirements, saving time in terms of staff looking for lifting equipment.
Based on the care needs of consumers and irrespectful of care minute targets, the workforce demand analysis identified labour cost savings of c.$800k and c.$300k, respectively, mainly from operational efficiencies.
In summary, to ensure the delivery of safe and quality care that meets the Aged Care Quality standards, in particular, 7(3)(a) and connects to consumers’ need and preferences, its crucial to fully understand your workforce and the connect to consumers.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Anchor Workforce Demand Analysis Tool and how it can positively impact your consumer outcomes, align with the care minute targets and increase operational efficiencies, please reach out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Paul Harris directly on email@example.com.
Chief Financial Officer