Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Jan-Feb 2012 Contents SPONSORED FEATURE
'us-and-them' mentality is unworkable, and
staff need to know where the organisation
The executive team has already
delivered the new strategic plan to the
whole organisation, running a roadshow-
style presentation at all homes.
"Each of us had a few minutes to talk
about a different aspect of the strategic
plan and we got some really great
feedback," she says.
An onsite centre aimed at ensuring an organisation is forward-
thinking is an unusual asset in the aged care sector.
So TLC Aged Care has shown vision in opening its Centre
for Innovation and Quality in July 2011, headed by Executive, Dr
Jocelyn Small. Small joined TLC Aged Care on a project basis to
examine documentation, policies and procedures and align them
with standards. She recommended creating a streamlined system
so all nine facilities would work in the same manner, a master
document index, a better and improved quality management
system, and improved corporate governance.
"Based on all these different findings, I put forward a
recommendation that if they wanted me to stay on we could
look at establishing a centre where we focused on quality and
innovative practice," she says.
The board accepted, and the centre was born. Today it has six
staff members and myriad projects in train.
"I haven't seen anything like this in aged care," Small says.
"I felt it was something that would improve on what we do in
aged care, and was going to benefit TLC. We're in an era where we
do business a lot more by projects and the centre also functions to
be managing a series of projects to make things happen."
Already, the centre has driven a project moving paper-based
clinical records and incident reporting systems to an electronic
system using Manad software. Eventually, clinical assessments,
progress notes and electronic medication administration
management will be included. The rollout began at the Forest
Lodge home in Frankston last year and Small says all TLC Aged
Care homes should be online by the end of this year, with laptops
and PCs replacing paper.
"The biggest challenge is helping people change their
behaviours and not pluck a form out from under the seat and fill it
in when they're meant to be using computers!"
Tim Humphries, TLC's Executive Business Services, says the
changes are generating excitement.
"Staff are starting to say this is going to make their jobs a bit
easier," he says.
"The fact that we're investing in infrastructure, putting in
wireless networks inside the home, and in training, we're getting
feedback that staff are appreciating the fact that we're taking the
time to invest in their IT skills."
The Centre for Innovation and Quality has also worked on
redesigning the business management system so it moves
from an old file server system of document storage to an
organisational intranet, to be launched in February.
"My main drive is that we are aiming for quality in practice
where we can actually move away from the 'compliance think', to
the 'doing-things-better think', and have systems in place where
people don't go into a flurry of activity every time the agency
knocks on the door," Small says.
Additionally, she and her team are focusing on making TLC
Aged Care a learning organisation by applying for external grants
and tenders for research opportunities; assisting with establishing
the ACCV/Monash University Graduate Nurse Program; and
creating a dementia fellowship with La Trobe University.
"Some of the grants Jocelyn is applying for really are quite
innovative," Humphries says.
"It gives staff the chance to contribute to studies and improve
the way we do things, and then get the feedback from research
so that's a real bonus for us."
Small says the centre is also a drawcard for future staff.
"There's going to be a lot of education for staff in relation
to IT usage and also evidence-based practice because that's
where quality comes from. There will be career opportunities for
staff, the opportunity to be listened to and having feedback into
our better practice system, to make suggestions for innovative
practice and changes.
"It's an exciting organisation to be working for."
"Staff and residents said
it's fantastic to meet the
executive team, exciting
to hear about the Donvale
project and we got some
really positive comments..."
TLC Aged Care's
Executive Team --
Jocelyn Small and
"Staff and residents said it's fantastic to
meet the executive team, exciting to hear
about the Donvale project and we got
some really positive comments about the
fact that they found it extremely valuable
and I think it just helped them connect
Williams believes TLC Aged Care is a
positive grassroots example of how the
entire industry is evolving.
"We've heard a lot about the
Productivity Commission and what's going
to come out of that. I see that as being a
very positive progression forward for the
industry," she says.
"How our organisation fits in with
that growth, and the changes that we're
going to make to what we offer older
Australians that can only benefit them
and us mutually, that's something that I'm
really looking forward to.
"We're thrilled to have future
consumers as excited about what we are
offering to them as we are." n
AAA | JANUARY -- FEBRUARY 2012 | 39
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