What the Aged Care Amendment means for healthcare organisations

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What the Aged Care Amendment Means for Healthcare Organisations

The Australian government has taken a hard look at the country’s aged care sector in recent years. Now, with the recent passing of the Aged Care Amendment, significant changes are finally being made to the system. Aged care providers will soon have to comply with these new regulations. It will also mean that the level of care provided will need to improve at every opportunity.

But what does this mean and how is the Aged Care Amendment affecting the industry? Furthermore, what can healthcare providers do to navigate these new rules?

In this blog, we’ll answer these questions and give you tangible solutions that will help you navigate a quickly changing aged care environment.

Residential care providers who prepare a General Purpose Financial Statement (GPFS) must now publish it, either on their website or elsewhere online in a manner thats publicly available.Residential care providers who prepare a General Purpose Financial Statement (GPFS) must now publish it, either on their website or elsewhere online in a manner that’s publicly available

What is the Aged Care Amendment?

In October 2022, the Australian Parliament passed the Aged Care Amendment, also known as the Implementing Care Reform Bill. It’s the latest in a series of legislative changes designed to overhaul the aged care sector. Like its predecessor — the Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment Act, which passed Parliament in August 2022 — this new law is the result of a multi-year report from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

In its final report, the Royal Commission found that Australia’s aged care system is ‘well behind other sectors in the use and application of technology, and has no clear information and communications technology strategy. This mix of factors has resulted in an aged care sector that is behind the research, innovation and technological curves.’

Simply put, the industry hasn’t done enough to digitise its processes. In turn, the Royal Commission outlined 148 recommendations to significantly improve the aged care sector, 126 of which the government agreed to implement. The Aged Care Amendment addresses two of these recommendations and introduces three significant changes:

  1. Registered nurses must be on site and on duty in every residential aged care facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  2. The bill puts a cap on home care administration and management charges, and also bans exit fees
  3. The bill improves the integrity and accountability of residential aged care homes by increasing transparency around how providers spend their funds

Crucially, the bill also introduces mandatory reporting requirements, further emphasising the importance of quick and easy access to essential healthcare information through the use of an EHR or EMR. Residential care providers who prepare a General Purpose Financial Statement (GPFS) must now publish it, either on their website or elsewhere online in a manner that’s publicly available.

Challenges in aged care compliance

Recent legislative changes boil down to a pressing need for information accessibility and transparency across the sector. Although progress is being made, many providers are still in the early stages of digitising their records systems and other essential workflows.

In fact, according to a survey from the Aged Care Technology Consortium and shared by Healthcare IT News, roughly one in 10 aged care providers rely on paper records for care management. Furthermore, just over half of respondents said they’re working in a facility with a digital medication management system.

The survey also asked aged care staff to list their most significant workplace challenges. These include:

  • Completing documents
  • Incident management
  • Ease of administration
  • Monitoring care quality
  • Compliance and auditing activities

Paper-based processes make important tasks like these error-prone, time-consuming and needlessly complicated. Without instant access to accurate and essential information, providers have a much more difficult time delivering the quality of care that millions of Australians depend on every day.

Brothers multi-function centres, such as the MFC-L6700DW, are suited to enterprises with high-volume printing, scanning or copying requirementsBrother’s multi-function centres, such as the MFC-L6700DW, are suited to enterprises with high-volume printing, scanning or copying requirements

Easing the transition to digital architecture with Brother scanning solutions

Navigating the new aged care requirements won’t be easy with paper-based information systems in place. Providers need a way to seamlessly enable nurses and staff to access, share and secure vital health information more effectively. Fortunately, Brother’s Cerner-validated devices can do exactly that.

Cerner validation is a sign that your device is equipped with the tools you need to optimise workflows in a healthcare environment. Brother’s validated devices seamlessly integrate with the Cerner EHR platform for complete operational efficiency.

OCR-enabled scanners like the ADS-4900W leverage industry-leading image capture and processing software to streamline your digitisation effort. By transforming paper documents into actionable data, you can reduce your data processing time, avoid human error and simplify the reporting process. With a more effective and accurate data capture system, you can increase transparency and ensure all essential information is uploaded to your patient-facing applications in compliance with new GPFS requirements.

What’s also important is that aged care providers implement information technologies that are just as reliable as they are effective. Brother’s multi-function centres, such as the MFC-L6700DW, are suited to enterprises with high-volume printing, scanning or copying requirements. Not only can it support a high output of 5,000 monthly pages, but it also lowers your total cost of ownership as a device that’s built to last in a busy workplace.

Brother understands the challenges the aged care sector is facing and is at your side when your organisation is ready to embrace a digital future. That’s why we offer a suite of solutions designed to meet changing healthcare needs. By restructuring your processes with digital workflows, you can provide the speed and efficiency necessary to take your aged care facility to the next level.

Contact our team to learn more about how Brother can help.

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