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New tool and accreditation scheme to ensure quality across aged care, retirement villages

National peak body, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) has launched a new online tool to help aged care providers ensure they are meeting and exceeding new industry standards, which come into effect on 1 July 2019.

LASA has launched a new online safety and management tool for providers, as well as unveiled an accreditation scheme for retirement villages with the Property Council of Australia. (Source: LASA)
LASA has launched a new online safety and management tool for providers, as well as unveiled an accreditation scheme for retirement villages with the Property Council of Australia. (Source: LASA)

The Safety & Quality Management System, which is designed by experts in aged care with input from providers, offers a better way to collect, store and report on critical information.

The system provides a core suite of more than 50 ready-made policy and process templates - helping providers to deliver the very best consumer-centred care. Fully customisable, each item can be edited to create a unique set of policies and processes that align with organisational requirements - providing a one-stop-shop access point for frontline staff and management.

LASA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sean Rooney says the easy-to-use system will form an essential part of an aged care provider’s toolkit.

“We’ve worked hard to develop what we believe is an excellent guide to develop systems and processes that prioritise the health and wellbeing of older Australians receiving care and support,” he says.

“By using this tool, providers of residential care and home care will be able to have everything at their fingertips, for planning, reporting, compliance and audits.

The system also supports users to identify, collect and store evidence for internal performance reporting and review, as well as providing assurance in demonstrating compliance against the new quality standards, which will help to ensure quality and safety of services and operations.

The Safety & Quality Management System is accessible from desktop computers as well as smartphones, is now available for purchase. Aged care providers who wish to find out more should email quality@lasa.asn.au.

“Unified accreditation scheme” to assure retirement village quality for residents

LASA has also unveiled a new unified accreditation scheme for Australian retirement villages and communities in collaboration with Property Council of Australia, which will independently certify the quality of a village’s services and operational processes.

The Australian Retirement Village Accreditation Scheme (ARVAS) will launch in June this year and replace existing schemes run independently by the Property Council and LASA to form one national accreditation scheme. ARVAS will be operated on the Property Council and LASA’s behalf by Quality Innovation Performance (QIP), an experienced not-for-profit provider of accreditation services to community organisations and primary, secondary and tertiary health care services.

Executive Director, Retirement Living at the Property Council of Australia Ben Myers says ARVAS had been developed over more than 12 months of extensive consultation with the industry and stakeholders, including current residents.

“We believe strongly that an independent accreditation process can play an integral role in ensuring high standards in operations of retirement villages, and to provide peace of mind to residents that their choice to live in a village is the right one,” Mr Myers says.

“ARVAS has been developed after extensive research and consultation, utilising previous resident surveys and conducting resident focus groups to determine the key indicators of satisfaction with village life.

“These key indicators are reflected in the new ARVAS standards, which have been designed in a way that supports village owners and operators and promotes continuous improvement.

“Essentially, the ARVAS standards also link directly to the recently released Retirement Living Code of Conduct, which completes a clear pathway to quality and accountability.

LASA CEO Sean Rooney says it is important to have a unified scheme that ensures a consistent standard of quality across the retirement village industry.

“The fact that this scheme has widespread support in the industry demonstrates the commitment of operators to provide high quality services to older Australians,” he says.

Quality Innovation Performance has a strong track record for providing accreditation services to community organisations and health care services and is well placed to support the retirement village industry to provide the very best services for the community.”

Chief Executive of the AGPAL Group of Companies, which includes Quality Innovation Performance (QIP), Dr Stephen Clark says QIP is looking forward to working with the Property Council and LASA to support retirement village managers and owners on their respective quality improvement journeys.

“ARVAS will assist village managers and owners to minimise the risk inherent in managing within an increasingly complex and compliance driven environment and support continuous quality improvement so residents have access to the best possible housing, facilities and village operations”, Dr Clark says.

The proposed ARVAS standards will be released for public comment in the coming weeks.

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