July 12

Worried about training in your Aged Care Facility?

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Education and training as strategy in Aged Care

This video/ blog is about the strategic role of education and training in your organisation.

Traditionally staff development has been considered an expense to be incurred. However, it is a vital component of the overall strategy of your organisation. Education and training are key components of your overall quality improvement strategy impacting on your brand reputation and operational efficiency strategies whilst meeting staff development requirements for accreditation.

Typically, education measures considered are the number of staff who have attended training, the range of topics covered and the presence or absence of participant feedback. Even accreditation assessors look only for these. As a result, education and training are. viewed as an expense to be incurred.

However, a comprehensive education and training plan as part of the overall strategic approach to delivering quality care and services will enhance the reputational brand of your organisation and should have a positive impact on the overall bottom line result. Looking at it this way training and education are an investment with metrics such as return on investment (ROI), enhanced efficiency and improved care and service delivery measures.

When developing the strategic plan, the Board and senior management should set target improvement measures aligned with the organisation’s risk tolerance as part of the overall approach to quality improvement. Education and training plans are key components in achieving these goals.

Let’s look at an example using the number of wounds in an aged care facility. In this example, the aim is to increase skincare to promote good skin integrity whilst reducing wounds from 30% of residents to 15% of residents in 3- 6 months. This may translate into increased efficiency in care time by reducing the overall time spent on wound care because of the reduction in the number of wounds.

Let’s assume wound care time includes setting up the wound trolley, making the resident feel comfortable, dressing the wound, documentation of wound care and time to purchase and store wound care products. For this example, we will allow 30 mins x 2 times per week. Or 1 hour per resident with a wound.

If the facility has 120 residents and the wound rate is 30% of residents then reaching this goal will result in a reduction of 40 wounds to 20 wounds (a saving of 20 hours of wound care per week).

But of course, to do this we need to allocate an increase in time spent on good skincare delivery and staff training time. Let’s assume we increase time for skincare from an average of 5 min per day per resident to 10 mins per day per resident. This translates into an increase from 10 hours per week to 20 hours per week to cover all 120 residents (noting not all residents will require assistance).

Current3-6 month targetChange
% residents with wounds30%15%15% decrease
Number of residents with wounds40 residents20 residents20 residents – decrease
Hours of wound care (1 hour/week/resident40 hours/week20 hours / week20 hours/week – decrease
Skincare time for all 120 residentsAverage 5 mins/ resident = 20 hours per weekAverage 10 mins / resident = 20 hours per week10 hours/ week – increase

Education

  • RNs, EENs on wound management and skin care.
  • PCAs on skin care
  • Allocate 6 hours to cover all staff training

Overall change

  • 20 fewer residents with wounds
  • Increased skin integrity for all residents
  • Nett saving of 4 hours per week
  • Better rating on the National Mandatory Quality Indicator program for pressure area care.

In addition, residents with wounds may not require as much pain medication. They may feel better, and their families may be happier. So, flow on measures may result in increased resident and family satisfaction.

Your business manager or financial staff will also be able to work out the ROI based on the cost of training and savings in care time.

Whilst this is one example there are many others. The effectiveness of the education and training requires that the program is designed to meet business needs, is delivered in a way that staff enjoy, understand, and can relate to the content and that the learning is continuously reinforced through sustained practice and supervision.

The intangible measures of quality education and training program translate into consumer and staff satisfaction, meeting accreditation standards and enhanced organisational brand for a caring culture and delivering quality care and services.


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