In response to the Aged Care Royal Commission, the federal government is mandating from October 2023 that residents of aged care facilities are to receive a minimum of 200 minutes of care time per day. 40 minutes of that time must come directly from a Registered Nurse and there must be a Registered Nurse rostered for 16 hours per day.
Mandatory care time standards reporting is expected to start from July 2022, and has led to clinical and home management teams looking for ways to calculate the level of care provided to residents day-to-day, as well as meeting reporting and statement requirements before the deadline date.
Calculating the data correctly and evidencing care to reach the benchmark of 200 minutes per resident per day will be a challenge, however with the right solutions in place, such as a clinical care system and digital clinical documentation, evidencing care will be simple, streamlined, efficient and will enable your facility to meet the new Government legislation.
A recent study analysing surveys submitted by 50% of all aged care homes in Australia found the average care time minutes being delivered is 175.8 minutes, and 84% of aged care facilities are delivering less than 200 minutes of care per resident per day. Results show the majority of aged care homes may not meet new mandatory minimum staffing standards by the Government deadlines and therefore, its vital facilities are educated on the matter so they can implement the right solutions ensuring all care is evidenced efficiently and accurately.
Here’s everything you need to know about evidencing care time minutes and the importance of acting on regulations now.
The 200 minutes will include registered and enrolled nurses, and personal care assistants, but it will not include allied health, lifestyle or pastoral care. There will be exemptions depending on the aged care facilities situation, for example, homes that cater for homeless older people will be able to include social workers in their 200 minutes of care.
If an aged care facility goes over their required care minutes time, they should expect more stars than a facility with less care time evidenced.
Accuracy of data is essential; to ensure providers are submitting the correct care time minutes, the Department of Health will collect roster data for salary hours and will conduct cross-checks. The aged care regulator will also be provided with additional funding to include care minutes data in its quality audits.
The aged care homes will be held to account for the provision of accurate data, which further highlights the importance of accurate, immediate reporting of care.
Using payroll data and splitting it across residents will not be sufficient to prove that the Registered Nurse care was provided. Facilities will need to use real-time systems to show how and when the care was being provided. Many facilities have Registered Nurses in management roles, and these nurses would not be counted towards the minutes as they are not providing direct care.
We recommend averaging your current care minutes over 3 months to give you a solid figure of how you are performing. Any shorter period would be susceptible to ‘peaks and troughs’ of data.
The care statement provided to families should be split out by the type of care provided. Keeping the communication open between residents’ relatives allows families to understand the number of care minutes that are being spent, promoting an inclusive and transparent environment.
Read more about relatives gateway.
Early preparation and understanding where your home currently sits with care minutes is vital. It is important to identify existing resourcing levels and the level that you need to get to by 2023. Using a digital clinical system that records the amount of time spent on each task, at the point of care, is key to getting real-time information on how your home is performing.
If you need any assistance in preparing for the changes, get in touch with us, we can help.
What you do next will be the difference between meeting the requirements and failing to reach the 200 care time minutes. Start reporting straight away on how much care is being provided with Person Centred Software which can be set up to mandate carers and clinical staff enter the amount of time they have spent with the resident on each task, which then flows to real-time care minute reports. You’ll also be able to produce the monthly care statements, required to be provided by families.
Learn how to evidence care as it happens within your facilities with a mobile care app.
Migrating to Person Centred Software will allow your home to start collecting care minute information straight away without guessing or using incorrect timesheet information. Our clinical and implementation teams can help with the data migration, ensuring you go live quickly and efficiently.
We’re passionate about what we do and would love to relieve your stress and enable your home to track care time minutes simply and in real-time to be compliant.
Get in touch by filling in the form, we look forward to hearing from you.