From digital transformation through to talent shortages and increased regulatory scrutiny, the Aged and Community Care industry in Australia faces an evolving set of challenges as it seeks to enhance safety, improve quality of care, and promote better outcomes for consumers. In this article, we will explore the concept of Risk-based Management to help address some of these challenges along with how Riskteq’s powerful software suite can help. We’ll outline the benefits and principles of Risk-based Management and outline 10 practical steps you can take to successfully get started with Risk-based Management.
Benefits of Risk-based Management in Aged and Community Care
Risk-based Management is a systematic approach to decision making and resource allocation. It involves proactively identifying, assessing, prioritising and addressing risks in order to optimise business outcomes. It is an ongoing process that demands and drives a culture of continuous improvement. The primary benefits for Care providers include:
- Improved Consumer Safety
Risk-based Management begins with the holistic identification of risks and hazards that residents can be exposed to. By systematically identifying and categorising these risks, Care providers can take early preventative actions to improve resident safety and well being through initiatives like fall prevention programs, medication management, infection control and individualised nutritional programs.
- Higher Quality of Care
By minimising risks and the effort dealing with incidents or issues, Care providers can allocate more time and resources to providing personalised care, medical attention, and emotional support. Risk-based Management requires a recognition that each consumer is unique. As a result, Care plans can be tailored to address individual risks and needs. For example, residents with a history of falls may receive personalised care plans that focus on fall prevention.
- Lower Operational Costs
Risk-based Management results in improved operational efficiency and lower cost of service delivery per consumer through:
Timely preventative measures that result in fewer adverse events and lower costs associated with incident management, medical intervention, rehabilitation and legal liabilities.
Optimised design for new facilities or installations. Risk-based Management can influence facility design and layout early. Facilities or equipment can then be designed with safety and risk mitigation in mind, reducing the need for costly replacements, retrofitting or renovations.
Investments in streamlined processes like standardised procedures for resident assessments, care planning, and documentation.
An increased focus on staff competencies and training. Well-trained staff members who understand and follow risk mitigation protocols are more efficient and satisfied in their roles. They can identify risks early, take appropriate actions, and provide better care to residents.
- Lower Staff Turnover
Risk-based Management can play an important role in improving staff retention by creating a safer, more supportive, and fulfilling work environment.
Effective Risk-based Management requires open communication about potential risks and the steps taken to mitigate them. Providing a forum for staff to voice their concerns fosters a culture of transparency and inclusivity, which increases employee engagement and satisfaction.
Effective risk management also mitigates workplace hazards and safety risks. When staff members see that their safety is a priority, they are more likely to feel secure in their jobs and less likely to leave due to concerns about their physical well being. Minimising stressful incidents, such as falls or medication errors also reduces burnout. Furthermore, Risk-based Management requires significant investments in staff training which not only enhances their skills but demonstrates a strong commitment to their professional development.
- Regulatory Compliance
Compliance with Care regulations such as the Aged and Community Care Quality Standards and the National Standards for Disability Services are a critical requirement. Risk-based Management provides a framework for identifying and managing compliance requirements as key business objectives. This encourages ongoing process improvements, policy changes, staff training, infrastructure upgrades and documentation to meet those objectives.
- Better Reputation
Care providers that demonstrate a commitment to resident safety and well-being through effective Risk-based Management will benefit from fewer adverse incidents, build a positive reputation and differentiate based on higher quality of services. Risk-based Management can also create a more favourable environment for growth and financial sustainability through reduced staff turnover, improved resident satisfaction, investor and stakeholder confidence.