Southern Cross Care SA/NT Experience with QPS

Southern Cross Care SA/NT Experience with QPS

Established over 43 years ago by the Knights of the Southern Cross, Southern Cross Care SA/NT Inc. has grown and developed into a large organisation. The organisation provides services in residential aged care, retirement living, home support services, therapy life centres, rehabilitation, respite and also research and innovation.

The SCC Home Support Services, a division of the greater Southern Cross Care group, has HACC, CACP, EACH, CDC 1, 2, 3, 4 packages and centre-based programs. From December 2013, services were being provided to 485 consumers. The organisation had a vision of being prepared for CDC and had participated in Government conducted trials.

An organisational review of the Common Care Standards (Home Care Standards August 2013) identified that deficiencies existed with the then, current auditing tools. Adjustments were made in the existing framework and following an external audit September 2013, all were met.

Why Benchmark?

Southern Cross SA/NT, recognised that benchmarking involves the measurement and comparison of the performance and outcomes from critical processes for the purpose of improvement, establishing a competitive position, and to provide input into management decision-making. While Southern Cross SA/NT was successful in their Quality review a decision was made to pursue a proactive approach for managing their continuous improvement program which encompassed an external review of their performance and go the extra step of turning data into information that would facilitate change.

A number of companies were approached by Southern Cross SA/NT, to identify their ability to provide relevant measures for external and internal benchmarking and suitable audits and tools. Close scrutiny was conducted on these companies to ensure that their program was up to date with external monitoring, including industry regulatory and legislative changes into their tools and service provision.

QPS Benchmarking was one of the companies short-listed to assist in achieving the goals of the organisation and delivered a comprehensive presentation to the Board and Executive team. The decision was made to advance the initiative to join and QPS Benchmarking conducted a workshop in the Adelaide Metro Home Support Services office to a team, which included members of the direct Home Support Services and relevant central office services comprising ICT, Finance and Payroll.

Immediate benefits of Benchmarking

The benefits of the QPS benchmarking workshop were immediately recognised and the exercise of working through the QPS Key Performance Indicators allowed the team to improve their processes by identifying, understanding, and adapting current practices and systems in place to important industry requirements.

New documents, procedures and flow charts were developed in preparation for the implementation of CDC. Procedures were also developed to integrate the step-by-step processes for staff on the ground to record and enter data into the newly introduced QPS program.

Benchmarking data collection was to commence in November 2013 and the objective of management was to collect valid data. The first set of data collection required dedicated effort and time from management to reconcile current data collection systems. It was identified early, during the benchmarking process, that resources for data collection were not adequate for the program. ICT commenced developing analysis reports by mapping data from a number of sources. Logs and registers on the organisation's intranet were adapted to provide more readily accessed accurate data for reporting. Payroll provided a comprehensive breakdown of staff payments including staff paid through different programs, something never provided before. The aim was to collect valid data, on which sustainable improved outcomes for clients could be achieved.

The first set of benchmarked data identified both opportunities for improvement and areas were SCC Home Care Services are performing well. Management and staff at Southern Cross Care Home Care are justifiably proud of the areas where they are performing well and plan to utilise the QPS Benchmarking reports to drive improvements within their service and envisage the next set of data and reports will demonstrate the progress achieved.