It’s easy to believe the sky is falling!
With ACFI’s shifting goal posts, legislative uncertainty and budgetary Armageddon, it’s no wonder the aged care sector is feeling nervous. Perhaps it’s time for some perspective? The prospect of change is ever-present: always has been and always will. But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed…your core business. Caring for the elderly is the very reason your business exists.
“There’s never been a more exciting time to be in Aged Care” (Thank you, Prime Minister).
These uncertain times present us with a great opportunity to focus on the quality of care we provide. Smart operators know that their reputation is everything. They don’t need to advertise because their local community does it for them. Recommendations from local GPs, area health professionals and established clients mean they have a steady stream of genuine enquiries and full occupancy.
Want to know how they do it? They ‘walk the talk’.
What sets you apart from everyone else? Ok, there’s a nice coffee shop and a lovely water feature in the courtyard but what about your core business? What about the actual care you provide? Have a look at your incident logs. How’s the falls rate? How many skin tears are there? Do you have any pressure injuries? How many behavioural incidents are recorded? Are you still using restraints? How many chronic wounds do you care for?
Here’s where the opportunities lie. If all the care staff have expert manual handling techniques you won’t see so many skin tears. If they all know how to manage high–risk residents you should never have any pressure injuries…ever. If you have an established, best-practice skin tear protocol, all injuries are healed within one week. If your team has professional wound care expertise they can heal chronic wounds and prevent the acute wounds from deteriorating. If they really understand the fundamentals of behaviour management you won’t have adverse incidents.
And what happens at your facility when someone deteriorates? Is the first response to call the GP or the ambulance…or does your team first perform a detailed assessment and implement the appropriate strategies to manage any treatable conditions? (So, Mrs Jones’ U/A shows traces of leukocytes and protein, do you call the GP or push fluids and monitor her closely?)
Can you see the opportunities? When your team are empowered with the right skills and equipment, your residents benefit and your reputation soars. (If you think the local emergency department and the local ambulance service aren’t rating your facility with every resident presentation, think again.)
Small changes to the way we operate can have big results. When you get the care right, everything else falls into place and all the external ‘noise’ is of no consequence. The time is fast approaching where good enough will no longer be good enough. Getting the right advice from the right people can transform your business. AHP’s consultants and clinicians can help you to deliver a standard of care that gives you the only thing your business needs…a great reputation.
We’ll be exploring some ways to finesse your care in future articles. But in the meantime, here’s a motto for all of us to consider:
“Esse Quam Videri”
(To be, not just appear to be)