CareLynx has been in the privileged position to witness the application of the new standards in a variety of services across Australia undergoing their full re-assessment. This is what we have seen:
Understanding the new standards accreditation process
Under the new arrangements, the commission arrives on the service’s doorstep unannounced and then assesses the service against the application of the new standards. The new standards comprise 8 standards with a number of elements within them. In order to receive a rating of ‘met’ for each standard, the service must ‘meet’ all the elements in each standard. For example, if you do not meet 3a of standard 1, then the whole standard is ‘not met’.
We have noticed that some assessors focus on a few complex-care residents and analyse their entire care. They then report compliance for those few residents against the new standards, recording where the service has met or not met each element. The report details these few residents and reports their care under each of the standards. Ultimately, if there is a deficiency or ‘not met’ under the new arrangement, there will be subsequent ‘not met’ under other standards. This makes the service look ‘ineffective’ or potentially ‘at risk’ when they actually may not be.
The Consumer Experience Report (CER) is still operating as it did over the last 12 months by interviewing a number or residents based on set questions. This is also published. We find it interesting that a CER can be overwhelmingly positive, yet the assessment report does not reflect this outcome.
We have also seen the assessors requesting an action plan during the final days of the assessment visit to address high-risk areas identified. If the service is unable to provide an action plan, the assessors may come back for another unplanned assessment day.
So, what happens when you get a lot of ‘not met’ items?
When the commission sends you their report, which is taking a number of weeks in some instances, there will be 3 attachments: The report, the report with evidence and findings and the CER. Thoroughly review the report that contains the findings and evidence with relevant colleagues. Work out what evidence may have been used incorrectly. Create a response to the report and include the evidence. Be very discerning about which items are incorrect. If your evidence does not directly support your concern, then do not challenge findings in the report. It is very easy to provide an emotional response, but don’t. Take the time to review your report and have other people review the response before submission. There is a 14-day response time.
CareLynx is happy to support you with this, just get in contact with our team here.
What do we recommend?
1. Complete your self-assessment:
Make sure your self-assessment clearly outlines your preparedness to the standards and the expected dates that you will need developing actions.
As we provide an Accreditation Readiness Review service, we listed some questions that can be helpful during your self-assessment as well. You can find them here: ARR.
2. Respond to their report:
When you respond to the agency, we suggest you provide:
- A letter asking for a review of your response
- A response and the supporting evidence
- An action plan with timeframes about how you plan to meet the ‘not met’ items.
CareLynx are also able to provide these services. If you want to have more information, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team here or on 1300 883 953.