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The aged care sector plays a critical role in society, with approximately one million Australians accessing aged care services every year. However, the sector has faced a number of challenges in recent years – such as the pandemic and the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety – which have put pressure on aged care services to deliver safe and effective care.
To further improve quality standards across the aged care sector, the Australian Government has designed a new program: the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (QI Program).
This blog will outline what the QI Program means for your organisation and how you can prepare to meet the mandatory requirements.
The QI Program has been designed by the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aged Care. The program collects indicator data from approved aged care residents every quarter. The data allows providers to measure and monitor their performance and support continuous improvement in the quality of the care they provide.
As part of the QI Program, approved aged care providers must conduct two quarterly consumer surveys.
The two surveys providers must conduct are:
There are strict protocols for distributing the surveys, collating feedback and reporting on survey data. Each survey must be completed by three parties: residents, family/carers and independent reviewers. Data must be submitted no later than the 21st day of the month after the quarter. This means that the April-June 2023 quarter must be reported no later than 21 July.
To find out more information about the program, visit the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program website here.
The aim of the QI Program is to ensure that safe and effective care is being provided across Australian aged care services. This is in response to a number of challenges facing the sector in recent years, one being the launch of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in 2018, which placed providers under the microscope to meet new compliance and regulatory requirements. The Royal Commission found that over one-third (39%) of aged care residents experience some form of neglect, emotional abuse, or physical abuse.
Australia’s ageing population is another factor intensifying the need for reforms in the sector. PwC research found that in the decade to 2017, there was a 17% increase in the number of Australians living in residential aged care (RAC) facilities. Research by the Parliament of Australia predicts that there will be 3.5 million Australians accessing aged care services by 2050.
Meeting the requirements of the QI program could be a daunting task, especially when relying on manual processes to conduct surveys, e.g. interviewing people in person and recording responses on clipboards.
Instead of relying on manual processes, organisations can remain compliant with government regulations by adopting an automated survey tool like Voice Project, an Xref company. Voice Project has been granted a sub-licensee arrangement by the Australian government that covers the consumer experience and quality of life assessment tools to help organisations streamline processes.
Organisations can use Voice Project to administer the two surveys. Each survey consists of six questions, and answers are given anonymously on a scale of 1-5. See the mandatory survey questions below.
Quality of care experience: Aged Care Consumers’ Questionnaire (QCE-ACC). Questions:
Quality of Life: Aged Care Consumers’ Questionnaire (QOL-ACC). Questions:
The surveys can also be embedded into broader surveys. There is also the option to ask recipients to give an NPS score, add open text comments to questions, and ask for resident details to enable follow-up.
Voice Project’s survey platform also offers reporting functionality, helping organisations to complete the mandatory submission requirements.
There are many benefits of using a specialised, online survey platform like Voice Project. These benefits include:
Meeting the requirements of the QI Program is a compulsory requirement for aged care providers and will improve the overall standards of care across the nation, but it doesn’t need to be a headache. In fact, when properly managed, it is an opportunity to improve the quality of services.
Utilising an approved online survey tool like Voice Project that automates the survey administering and reporting will make the process seamless. If you want to see the Voice Project survey in action, book a demo today.