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October 11, 2022

Australian aged-care mandatory care minute requirements: How technology can help

Australian aged-care organisations need to utilise agile technology solutions to comply with rostering requirements following the final report of the Royal Commission into aged care quality and safety.

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The aged-care industry has been under significant strain in recent years, with industry providers facing increasing pressure to ensure considerations such as employee burnout, turnover, and employee satisfaction are managed to ensure optimal patient care and organisational profitability. In an already challenging environment, the recommendations following the recent Royal Commission investigation have amplified existing pressures and introduced new ones, focusing on the link between staffing levels and the quality of the care residents receive.

In this article, Courtney Coates and Katie Arthur of Ceridian’s Advisory team explore the impact of the upcoming funding changes and the effect on rostering within aged-care organisations. Using industry data, customer insights and technical solution knowledge, the pair highlights the increased focus on the quality of care and the ongoing importance of compliance.

Mandatory care minute requirements

Australian residential aged-care organisations are re-evaluating their approach due to mandatory care minute requirements in response to the Royal Commission’s final report. Effective October 2022, the Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) model aims to ensure that aged-care providers have the resources to provide more efficient, transparent care and continuously provide industry-leading aged-care standards. In practice, each residential aged care facility will have its care minute target reflecting the AN-ACC case mix of residents in that facility. In addition, the new funding model will enable residential aged care providers to increase staffing levels to meet the new care minute requirements.

How do the changes affect staffing requirements and compliance?

Each resident will be assigned one of 13 AN-ACC classifications to determine the variable funding component the provider will receive to meet the resident’s care needs. There are specific care minute targets and funding allocated to each classification, reflecting the different care needs of residents. We expect a fluctuation of daily minute requirements because of these variations. For example, a facility with a significant percentage of residents requiring high care needs will have a higher average care minute target than a facility where most patients require fewer care requirements.

Supporting aged care requirements with technology

Modern HR technology can help aged-care organisations meet these requirements while mitigating risk by giving them access to the care minute requirements to identify variances compared to rostered staffing levels, applied at both role and site levels. Using this approach, aged-care organisations can ensure they provide support for the required daily minutes in line with mandatory requirements.

With HR technology, aged-care providers can ensure high care standards are achieved while experiencing the following benefits:

1. Reduce manual intervention

Processes that rely on manual intervention increase the chance of error and expose the organisation to risk. An agile HR system removes the need to manually input and validate daily minute requirements, allowing employees to seamlessly transfer care minute requirements from an external data source to ensure alignment.

2. Insightful decision-making and data accuracy

The aged-care industry will remain under significant scrutiny, posing an ongoing challenge to industry providers. Reporting and accurate workforce data will remain essential to ensure funding continues and organisations follow protocol. HR systems allow customised minute reporting to be accessed in real-time, continuously updated, and reflect the entire workforce in line with legislation requirements. Insightful reporting reduces risk at audit times and enables organisations to constantly review workforce optimisation to recognise potential areas of cost leakage and drive profitability.

3. Mitigate risk

Incorporating the required minutes per patient in rostering reduces risk by comparing the mandatorily required minutes to the scheduled minutes and alerts the relevant user if there is a variance. Operational managers can receive warnings in real time when rosters are created to ensure every shift has the correct number of employees and minutes assigned to meet legislation requirements.

What does this mean for aged-care organisations?

Focus on what’s most important, your residents and your people. The cost of getting rostering requirements wrong can potentially lead to workforce disruption, turnover, unexpected expenses, poor aged-care standards, heightened manual burden, and potential non-compliance fines. Aged-care providers that are unsuccessful in understanding and implementing the upcoming care minute requirements expose themselves to heavy scrutiny whilst running the risk of a possible reduction in funding.

We understand the forthcoming changes and can provide a solution that takes the pressure off aged-care providers, allowing them to focus on higher-value tasks to drive profitability, workplace satisfaction and strategic growth initiatives to ensure a sustainable future. Learn how Dayforce can help your organisation better manage these requirements and help you remain compliant.

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