Australian aged care mandatory compliance and audits – a prescription for good governance

As the aged care sector continues to implement changes based on the many recommendations from the Royal Commission, the New Aged Care Act is scheduled to commence from 1 July 2025.

The new Aged Care Act will augment all Royal Commission reforms already delivered and will include additional requirements from aged care service providers, particularly around governance and compliance.

Under the act, the “Strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards” will take effect. The new standards are based on a person-centred care approach, in addition to being detailed, robust and measurable.

New financial and prudential standards will also necessitate stricter auditing, reporting and disclosure obligations.

Maintaining compliance with the new standards will require aged care service providers to implement a more rigorous approach to collecting, securing, auditing and reporting on the data required by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. This data is used to monitor and assess the quality of care to ensure standards are met and areas for improvement are identified.

Enhanced data management is just one example of a technology improvement needed to deliver on the Royal Commission’s recommendations. Many other recommendations depend on changing or upgrading ICT and digital technology systems for successful implementation.

For aged care service providers, a simplistic approach to implement technology changes is to address each requirement on a case-by-case basis to assess if changes are needed. If applicable, changes are made then the next individual item is addressed and the process repeated.

This approach allows for smaller, incremental changes targeted to resolving a specific requirement or deficiency. However, it can also be an inefficient process as certain areas of a business’s operating model are likely to be reviewed and analysed several times as each new requirement is addressed.

A more holistic digital transformation approach, as discussed in several Royal Commission recommendations, entail changes to larger practice, procedural, management and reporting systems. It requires serious and considered architecture and planning prior to implementation.

The Quality aged care package in the 2024-2025 budget offers support for such projects and states:

“Underpinning the aged care reforms, including those dependent on the new Act, significant technology and platform maintenance and enhancements will be funded to ensure critical aged care digital systems will remain contemporary and comply with legislation ($1.4 billion).”

Defining, designing, and implementing new digital transformation projects require a special mix of skills. Understanding where to focus ICT capabilities is not a trivial task.

For over two decades, DB Results have completed digital transformation programs for organisations across a range of industry sectors. We understand that a “one size fits all” approach is both unrealistic and ineffective. We focus on delivering the right fix for the right problem. We always begin with examining the holistic requirements of the organisation to ensure that investment decisions and project roadmaps align with the organisation’s strategic objectives. This service is called an Independent Verification and Validation (IV & V).

In the context of the Aged Care sector a DB Results IV&V service incorporates all the new obligations and recommendations from the Royal Commission. Our assessment will concentrate on the requirements based on current legislation but with a forward-looking perspective on the additional obligations of the New Aged Care Act.

If you are an aged care service provider seeking to enhance or integrate your digital systems to ensure organisational compliance and quality care delivery, contact DB Results to see how we can help.

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