uCare helps you comply with the Aged Care Quality Standards

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How does uCare fit with the Aged Care Quality Standards?

uCare has been designed to be an integral part of the day-to-day activities within a residential aged care facility. When used to its fullest uCare provides both a valuable communication platform between an organisation and its consumers’ friends and family, and a way of monitoring staff performance and compliance. uCare can also help an organisation comply with the Aged Care Quality Standards.

This document outlines the ways in which uCare fits within the framework of the quality standards.

Standard 1 - Consumer dignity and choice

1(3)(a)

uCare stores basic details of each consumer including their name and birthdate, families can add background information about a consumer so that carers are informed about a consumer’s likes, dislikes and life history. Information about a consumer’s language preferences are included in that information and communication can be provided in a range of community languages.

1(3)(a)

uCare can handle non-binary gender identities, though this feature can be disabled if that is more in keeping with an organisation’s culture. uCare can also allow a consumer’s choice of personal pronouns to be recorded and used.

1(3)(b)

uCare has stores identification photographs of consumers, but these can be locked so that they cannot be viewed by users of uCare application if that is in keeping with a consumer’s culture. Restricted viewing by medical and senior staff is available, but all such accesses are logged.

1(3)(c)

Access by family members to a consumer’s reports are controlled by the consumer, only those people authorised by the consumer can receive notifications, and the consumer can decide on the type of information those people receive: basic, daily-living and/or medical information. Incoming messages are also classified according to their source. Communications are secure and messages can not be sent by anyone not already authorised within uCare, eliminating concerns about spam or malicious emails.

1(3)(c)

A consumer can include as many friends and relatives in their contact list as they like, the system is not limited to just family and those close if that is what the consumer wants.

1(3)(f)

One of uCare’s main concerns during development has been the privacy and security of information. All information stored by uCare is held in highly secure servers physically located in Australia and subject to Australian privacy legislation. The information about a consumer that is available to users of the system is limited to what that user needs to know. As an added precaution mobile devices used with uCare store a bare minimum of information, so should a device be lost or stolen confidentiality can be maintained. Added security is provided by making information available on a mobile device only when it is in or near the facility, a device that is more than a small distance from a facility will show no consumer information.

1(3)(f)

Because uCare allows photographs of a consumer to be shared with their chosen family and friends, situations may arise where a photo contains images of other consumers who may not want their pictures distributed. uCare offers a quick and simple method of blurring the faces of those other consumers before photograph is shared. Any photographs taken are not stored on a carer’s mobile device, ensuring further security even if a device is somehow compromised.

Standard 2 - Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers

2(3)(c)(i)

The relatives and friends chosen by a consumer to receive daily updates will have an understanding of how a consumer has been interacting with and responding to events and services being supplied. Each update includes a brief statement about whether a consumer enjoyed the experience or otherwise. This detailed information will better inform a friend or relative that the consumer wants involved in the planning of their care.

2(3)(c)(ii)

Updates are not limited to family and friends, a consumer can add other professionals, such as doctors, dentists, or optometrists, to receive notifications. (There is no additional charge for adding more people to receive notifications.)

2(3)(e)

Because of the frequency and continuity of a consumer’s reports, an organisation can quickly review the progress a consumer has been making and identify any trends in their response to the services provided. This comprehensive data (which is only available to authorised senior staff members) can help with ongoing planning to respond to a consumer’s goals and needs. The reports can be used to review the effectiveness of plans and whether the planned outcomes were realised in the consumer’s response over time.

Standard 3 - Personal care and clinical care

3(3)(a)

Because uCare records doctors’ visits and treatments, and can store a medical practitioner’s verbal summary of treatment, a facility can easily monitor the clinical care of a resident.

3(3)(d)

As records are kept for an extended period, an authorised staff member can review a consumer’s progress, giving insights into how the consumer’s health, capacity and condition has changed.

3(3)(e)

uCare allows care-givers to communicate securely with those relatives and friends authorised by the consumer about the consumer’s day-to-day living experiences and care received. This allows those individuals to also monitor a consumer’s ongoing needs and care.

Standard 4 - Service and supports for daily living

4(3)(a)

uCare records many of the daily events in a consumer’s life, these can be reviewed to provide evidence of the quality of care being provided. The enjoyment section of each report can help the organisation optimise the type of care and activities being provided to the consumer.

4(3)(c)

uCare has a section for recording the activities in which a consumer participates. These activity reports form an on-going record of a consumer’s participation in, and response to, the experiences provided.

4(3)(d)

Reports of a consumer’s activities are communicated to the family members and friends authorised by the consumer, this allows them to participate in the care and management of the consumer in concert with the organisation.

4(3)(f)

A whole section of uCare is involved with recording a consumer’s meals and their enjoyment of them. Meal records can be accompanied with photographs so the authorised family members and friends can monitor a consumer’s diet and be assured that a consumer is eating appropriately. In some cases food, while nutritious, may look unappealing (texture modified food, for example) so meal records can also be generated without a photograph.

Standard 5 - Organisation's service environment

5(3)(a)

uCare is provided in a number of community languages so that a consumer’s family can more easily use the system to stay in contact with the consumer. Text based interactions between a family and consumer can be facilitated by organisation staff using in-built translation tools.

5(3)(a)

The identity functions provided by uCare can help organisation staff discreetly identify a consumer from a distance so that all interactions can include the consumer’s name, even when the staff member involved is a casual worker or from a labour hire company.

Standard 6 - Feedback and complaints

6(3)(a)

One of the primary functions of uCare is to keep family and friends informed about a consumer’s care and well-being on a daily basis. This leads to a better understanding by those family members and friends of the day-to-day processes within the organisation, and better understanding leads to an easier resolution of any perceived problem. Regular reporting will also lessen the need for family and friends to continually contact the organisation just to make sure that nothing is potentially going wrong.

6(3)(b)

If a consumer consents, advocates can be given access to both historical and future reports to monitor a consumer’s conditions. Such monitoring can be for a limited time or on-going.

6(3)(c)

The open nature of reports provided by uCare means that problems may be picked up by relatives or friends before they escalate, minimising any potential harm.

6(3)(d)

The record of messages and other information kept by uCare makes the review of events leading up to and after a problem much easier to conduct. On-going processes can also be monitored.

Standard 7 - Human resources

7(3)(a)

uCare is designed to be very quick and simple to use. Using uCare means that staff are able to concentrate on the key aspects of their roles while still providing important feedback to management, consumers and their families.

7(3)(b)

Identification technologies combined with biographical information about consumers means that staff interactions with consumers can be tailored to each consumer’s identity, culture and diversity.

7(3)(d)

uCare includes a comprehensive training package and on-going user support to ensure that staff are effective in their use of the software and the services it provides.

7(3)(e)

Because uCare archives consumer messages and interactions, the performance of each carer can be monitored in both real time and over past time periods.

Standard 8 - Organisational governance

8(3)(b)

Because uCare provides real-time information to the friends and relatives of consumers, organisations are more directly accountable to their consumers. Feedback can be in close to real time.

8(3)(c)

uCare helps manage information flow between an organisation and a consumer’s family and friends. This can result in a decreased need for those outside the organisation to make contact to see how a consumer is faring. With the timely flow of information controlled by the organisation, staff time can be better managed.

8(3)(iii)

uCare’s regular reporting to family and friends of a consumer’s day-to-day activities and, where authorised, medical interactions fosters an open discussion of a consumer’s care and requirements.

Conclusion

This document has been prepared in reference to the Guidance and Resources for Providers to support the Aged Care Quality Standards by Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission 2018, published by the Australian Government - May 2019