The aged and community care sector is evolving rapidly, with government funding changes and staff shortages leading to an increase in provider restructures, mergers and consolidations. In part two of our special on aged and community care sector changes, we look at some of the ways providers can maximise their funding levels and retain an engaged workforce to meet the demands of an ageing population.
Funding changes – residential aged care
The Federal Government’s changes to the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) had a significant impact on residential aged care providers in 2016, with many re-evaluating their business model to maintain internal budgets. With more changes coming into effect from January 2017, utilising an effective software system to manage your ACFI appraisals has become essential in maintaining and enhancing funding levels. Electronic ACFI calculators are designed to save time, eliminate paperwork and maximise opportunities for funding. A software system that automatically links all supporting evidence and documentation relating to ACFI appraisals will reduce the time it takes to complete an appraisal and minimise the possibility of a downgrade. In addition, a high-quality ACFI optimisation tool can be used to accurately indicate changes in scores and potential gains in funding – thereby increasing the opportunities for ACFI funding.
The best way to maximise the effectiveness of electronic ACFI tools is by using them in conjunction with reliable evidence gathering practices. By educating care staff on the importance of documenting all resident care need changes, providers will help to negate the potential risk of under claiming.
Funding changes – community care
The changes to Home Care Packages – in addition to the introduction of Consumer Directed Care – are driving community providers to put client choice at the front of their business model. The community care model will continue to evolve over the coming years, and providers are looking for ways to stay ahead of consumer-first trends and changes. With the evolving market in mind, Telstra Health are bringing together the best parts of TCM, ComCare and iCareHealth’s Home Care Manager software to create a next generation software system. Telstra Health – ADCC recognises that the community care sector will require an intuitive, modular system to suit their evolving needs, and is committed to providing a solution for now and into the future. Community care providers should look to partner with vendors that will provide responsive, innovative solutions in line with future industry changes.
Retaining an engaged workforce
To minimise staff turnover, it is essential that providers find new ways to engage staff and create a positive workplace culture. Offering development opportunities builds engagement and loyalty amongst staff, and provides an avenue for high performing staff to progress within the organisation. Training options also highlight that the organisation has a genuine interest and investment in each employee’s future.
Technology – such as software that provides travel routes for community care workers or medication information for residential aged care nurses – can also increase job satisfaction and engagement by reducing time consuming administrative tasks and eliminating manual processes. With simplified and automated processes in place, staff can spend less time on arduous paperwork and administrative tasks, and more time on delivering person-centred care.
Read part one of our special on the evolution of the aged and community care sector to learn about upcoming government funding changes.
Tags: aged care, aged care software, ageing, ageing population, CDC, community care, consumer directed care, dementia, funding, government, health, home care, residential aged care, residential aged care solution, sector changes, software, Telstra Health, Telstra Health - ADCC, Telstra Health - Aged Disability & Community Care, wellbeing, workforce, workforce development