The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (Royal Commission) sets out a raft of changes targeted at transforming the aged care sector. While government has committed an initial $452 million towards change and has signalled its intent to invest further, the agenda put forward in the Final Report is ambitious. Only time will tell as to the extent government will invest in order to deliver the change that is outlined within the Final Report.
Regardless of government action, the platform for change exists and aged care providers must be on the front foot. Transformational change is needed across the sector to tackle the issues identified in the Royal Commission and providers cannot rely on government’s response to the recommendations and/or investment to make the change happen.
The Royal Commission series published by KPMG Australia has identified several areas for immediate action at both a provider and government levels. This final article outlines how providers individually can embark on an end to end transformation journey to better meet the needs of older Australians and continue to raise the bar in the quality and safety of care delivered across the sector.
The burning issues
|For care providers, it's now the time to answer the tough questions.|
We hear it all the time - the population is ageing, the expectations and needs of our consumers are increasing and the pool of funds available to respond is proportionately diminishing. The story starts to get old. But the reality for someone’s grandfather, mother, partner or your future self is ever present.
For providers, it can be overwhelming to address the issues they are facing. We hear providers across the sector ask:
- How do we meet the changing expectations of our consumers?
- How do we balance the regulatory requirements of being a government-funded organisation with our day-to-day duties to our consumers?
- How do we find the right people to support our consumers when diminishing public trust is impacting the attractiveness of the sector as an employer of choice?
- How do we gain business insights to help us grow?
- How do we achieve operational efficiencies to ensure we deliver services in a financially sustainable manner?
- How do we ensure we have the right oversight of clinical care and our broader services?
- How can we get our technology to better support us to deliver services?
Eight capabilities to transform
|At the heart of delivering better outcomes for older Australians is transformation.|
This transformation is responsive to both the internal and external environment and reform that will be present in the sector for the long term, that links up what providers are doing in one area, to every other part of their organisation, and most importantly, has the consumer at the heart of everything they do.
KPMG’s research over six years demonstrates that organisations that make a moderate or significant investment in these eight capabilities are 2 times more likely to exceed the expectations of their consumers and deliver on their mission and objectives. These capabilities make organisations connected to consumers, to their workforce and across the organisation, ultimately leading to better outcomes for older Australians.
|These eight capabilities are:|
Insights driven actions and strategies: The ability to harness data and analytics with a real-time, multi-dimensional view of consumers and the organisation to shape integrated decision making. This should capture data across the entire continuum of care such as consumer profiles and assessments, workforce data, incidents and quality indicators. Underpinned by strong data governance and processes, such an approach will lead to better and more integrated decision making at a whole of organisation level to inform a consumer strategy
Innovative services: The design of evidence-based, innovative services. Consumer-centric, practical and collaborative approaches to innovation are needed to meet the needs of older people and their families. Providers must experiment internally and collaborate externally to design evidence-based solutions that respond to the needs of consumers and improve outcomes.
Experience centricity by design: Structuring of the organisation around the consumer. It is no surprise that the first recommendation in the Final Report calls out the need to place people at the centre of aged care and to embed the interests of people who need or receive aged care in all aspects of the new system. In the same way, providers need to be focused on embedding their consumers in all aspects of their organisation. This means engaging consumers in all aspects of design and delivery and using insights to guide continuous improvement activities and measure outcomes.
Seamless interactions: Interacting with consumers in a trusted, personalised and integrated way. Providers interact with consumers at a range of points in their journey through the system. Regardless of the entry point or when the first interaction occurs, providers need to offer a seamless, connected experience to their consumers and family members – from marketing and referral through to assessment and delivery – to support ease of access and create a memorable experience.
Responsive operations: Creating agile, consistent and efficient operating practices. A key focus for providers within the current context must be about building the most cost-effective and efficient consumer-centric practices to adapt to shifting sector dynamics. To execute on what consumers want and need, providers should seek to build operating models and value stream analyses (focused on, for example intake, rostering and service scheduling) which help optimise the improvements needed to drive 'inside out' operational efficiency and enable them to work in a more agile, consumer-driven way.
Aligned and empowered workforce: Changing the way providers and the sector as a whole attract, retain and upskill the workforce will be central to driving lasting change and pivotal to the reform agenda. Providers will need to have a heightened focus on structuring their organisation and culture around the consumer, and on supporting their workforce such as through skills development and change management. Providers that establish an agile workforce strategy and align their strategy to the way they recruit, develop, and manage their workforce will have a more fulfilled and engaged workforce who will deliver better experiences for consumers and in turn support providers to attract staff with aligned values and commitments to quality.
Digitally enabled technology architecture: Leveraging digital services, technologies and platforms to deliver on consumer expectations. With past barriers to using technology now coming down and innovative models and practices being seen, now is the time to invest in technology. An integrated suite of technology will enable providers to better understand their consumers, enable people to remain in their homes for longer through place-based care and drive efficient and streamlined operations so the primary focus of service delivery is consumers.
Integrated partner and alliance ecosystem: Identifying, integrating and managing third-parties. The majority of providers will need to leverage partnerships to fulfill the holistic needs of their consumers. Providers should identify, integrate and manage third-parties to increase the speed at which new services can be tested, reduce costs, mitigate risks and supplement capability gaps in delivering the consumer promise. Appropriate governance, quality and safety and performance monitoring arrangements are critical to supporting partnerships to flourish.
|Providers need to ready themselves for reform and co-design as the recommendations get legs.|
Organisations that will flourish at this time of crisis will be strategic and targeted in the way they embrace the reform. 86% of Australian CEOs say that ensuring that the front office is seamlessly connected to the middle and back office is key to creating a stronger customer and brand experience. Providers know best where disconnection lies within their systems, policies and processes between their people and with their consumers.
Transformation cannot be successful without digitally-enabled and integrated operating models, systems and processes. Now is the opportunity for providers to leverage the reform agenda to connect parts of their organisation that are stopping them from being efficient, and confidently meeting and exceeding the expectations of consumers and their families.
The insights presented are underpinned by KPMG’s Connected Enterprise > framework, an evidence-based and globally-validated framework to support complex, digitally enabled transformation for organisations around the world.
Find out more
Be notified of new articles and insights, as well as connecting with our team of industry experts. This series will present nine different areas of focus; addressing specific areas of concern for the industry and identifying key opportunities for improvement, progression and innovation.
We have the findings from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, now is the time for action.
We have the findings of the Royal Commission, now is the time for action.