Compliance for home care providers: 5 risk areas you must address

Compliance for home care providers: 5 risk areas you must address

As an aged or disability home care service provider, your priority will always be delivering the best quality care.

But it takes a lot more than finding the best support workers to do so.

To improve client outcomes, you also need to be acutely aware of your organisational risks – with the right tools and technology to address them.

Here are the five key risk areas that the Royal Commission has identified – and some questions to help you assess how your business stacks up against each one.

Risk area #1: Organisational governance

According to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, organisational governance is a common area of non-compliance.

And this is extremely concerning. Because without the right structures, systems and risk management processes, your organisation will likely miss crucial issues, deficiencies and inefficiencies.

To evaluate this risk area within your business, start by asking:

  1. Are our clients who receive care through sub-contracted organisations actually getting the services they’re supposed to be getting?
  2. Are those services being delivered in line with our clients’ care needs and service plans?
  3. Can our current systems identify and manage high-impact risks?
  4. Does our IT system effectively manage communication, finances, workforce planning and incident reporting?

Risk area #2: Care planning and assessment

How can you continually ensure your support workers are delivering the care and services your clients need?

The answer? Regular assessment and care planning – with all information clearly outlined, and accessible to support staff at the point of care.

Without this, your clients’ needs, goals and preferences can be easily overlooked, increasing the chances of client neglect and injury.

To evaluate this risk area within your business, start by asking:

  1.  Are our clients – and their care partners – engaged in the assessment and care planning process?
  2.  Do our care workers have access to the latest, detailed information they need to deliver the best care and services at the time of service?
  3.  Are our care workers trained to recognise the signs and symptoms of a client’s potential deterioration – and to respond appropriately?

Risk area #3: Clinical care

Poor clinical governance leads to poor outcomes in clinical care.

Without a strong clinical governance framework, your processes for delivering suitable quality care to clients are likely to be weak and vague. Plus, if roles and responsibilities are ambiguous, your team will not be able to monitor care delivery and outcomes effectively.

To evaluate this risk area within your business, start by asking:

  1. Does our clinical care team have the qualifications and skills to provide what our clients need?
  2. Does our clinical care team have access to all relevant client information while with the client?
  3. Are our support workers – including sub-contracted staff – qualified, competent and appropriately supported to perform their role?
  4. Can we monitor whether our care and services are being delivered safely and effectively?

Risk area #4: Vulnerable consumers

Vulnerable consumers/clients include those who:

  • Live on their own
  • Have limited mobility
  • Have communication difficulties
  • Are highly dependent on their caregiver
  • Are waiting for higher care to be arranged

With these clients, it’s especially important to monitor and support their health, wellbeing and safety. And to make sure they are never forgotten. To do so, you need effective systems and processes so you know they are receiving the care needed at the right time.

To evaluate this risk area within your business, start by asking:

  1. Do we know who our vulnerable clients are?
  2. Are we equipped to prioritise vulnerable clients or clients who are awaiting a higher level of care?
  3. Are our staff trained to recognise and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and exploitation?
  4. Do our clients have an easy way to report concerns or instances of abuse, neglect and exploitation?

Risk area #5: Management of package funds

Mismanagement of Home Care Package funds is one of the most common complaints to the Commission. Key issues include:

  • Inappropriate use of funds, such as for rent or other lifestyle expenses (like television subscriptions).
  • Unclear communication of service costs – and confusing monthly statements.

As the care service provider, you must ensure that your clients’ Home Care Package funds are used appropriately – and that your clients know what they’re being charged for.

To evaluate this risk area within your business, start by asking:

  1. Do our clients understand their Home Care Package budget and monthly statements?
  2. Are our clients receiving services within the scope and intent of their Home Care Packages?
  3. Are our clients only being charged for services they receive?
  4. Are we managing unspent funds effectively?

What now for your home care organisation?

How does your organisation measure up against the questions for each risk area?

The Royal Commission will audit provider performance with a focus on the five key risk areas above. As such, it’s crucial that you continue to review your performance against these risk areas and address them accordingly.

Unlike other IT solutions developed prior to the Royal Commission, VIPS Care is designed to specifically address these five key risk areas.

Request a demo today to see how VIPS Care can help you improve compliance – and streamline operations.