Dec 10, 2021

Compliance rules and regulations: How tech is taking the stress out of aged care provider audits

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Staying on top of ever-changing regulations in the aged care sector is challenging when you consider the administration burden and costs involved, not to mention the loss of time that could be spent caring for people.

Amongst providers that struggle the most, there is one common factor that makes compliance a difficult beast to tame. According to Stacey Sincock, Disability and Aged Care Specialist at Lumary – a healthcare platform provider and technology service partner for the disability and aged care industry in Australia – that factor is a lack of system integration.

“Even though the aged care industry is getting more tech savvy, there’s still a lot of manual processes and standalone systems out there that don’t integrate with each other,” she said.

“You have people entering data at all these different points – using spreadsheets, making case notes, capturing data in people’s homes – but they don’t integrate with each other.”

Having multiple standalone processes isn’t just inefficient and time consuming, it can also be a significant liability for providers.

One of the main risks is human error, as being unable to control data entry leads to oversights in documentation, medication mistakes or even privacy breaches. 

A non-integrated system also lacks transparency, making it hard to show evidence for quality of care for an audit.

“The worst case scenario is that you are non-compliant to one of the quality standards, which is a red mark against a provider’s name.”

Using technology to make compliance easier

A simpler compliance process can be achieved, especially through recent advances in cloud-based technology.

According to Ms Sincock, using one digital platform to integrate individual processes into a streamlined system helps all aged care workers follow the right steps for compliance.

“With manual processes, quite often you tend to have one user who is a single point of entry. That’s a big risk, because you’re relying on a single person to manage that component,” said Ms Sincock.

“An integrated system creates intuitive workflows instead. The software trigger alerts to specific people in the organisation if part of a process is missed, or lets them know if something significant is coming up, such as a care plan review. You’re reducing the risk of error because the technology is telling you what to do.”

On top of creating efficiencies, this also makes it easier for providers to keep accurate records for audits, as all data is discoverable from one location.

“If you’re using a cloud-based system, you don’t have to go to different places to find data. You’re relying on technology to pull that data for you, so you can create reports efficiently,” said Ms Sincock.

Getting on board with integration

Currently there is some urgency for providers to integrate their compliance processes. Ms Sincock said it will eventually be compulsory for Australian aged care providers to adopt a digital integration system.

One solution that has been developed for the care industry is Lumary Care Management – a secure cloud-based platform that integrates with specialist applications to create one digital solution for providers.

Lumary CM is currently the chosen platform for over 200 Australian healthcare organisations. It streamlines multiple applications – from finance and risk assessment to care management and worker shifts – into one system, recording real time updates so providers can easily provide evidence for adherence to quality standards.

“Lumary CM allows providers to streamline their processes and create intuitive workflows for their end users, reducing the risk of error. It ensures they capture information at the right time to be compliant for regulatory purposes and align with industry standards,” said Ms Sincock.

“It’s also purpose-built for the aged care industry, with experts who stay on top of regulatory changes so the Lumary system keeps up-to-date. That reduces a burden on the provider, because we’re keeping up with those changes for them.”

To find out more about Lumary’s Care Management Platform, click here

On December 14, Stacey Sincock is presenting a free live webinar: ‘Navigating the audit nightmare – how to use technology to reduce risk and simplify compliance.” For more information and to register, click here.

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  1. I’ll say the same thing that many providers have been saying for twenty years…if the government supplied every document requirement, every report, from admission to death, along with universal policy and procedure templates then THAT would simplify compliance. No more department “interpretation” just straight forward and honest systems that every facility had to follow then we would have a much clearer and accurate assessment of care being delivered.
    Of course the government will tell you no to that suggestion… they don’t want to be prescriptive.joke.

  2. Aged care needs far more nurses. After all the money spent on the Commission nothing has been done. It’s a disgrace. Nurses working in hospitals are not coping caring for 4 to 5 patients. There needs to be more of them so they can provide the right care. There is so much litigation that no one hears about. This is costing the heath system millions in payouts.

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