Managing high impact and high prevalence risks

The Aged Care Royal Commission identified in Volume 1 of the Interim Report, that during the last quarter of 2018-19, the second most common subject of complaints was falls prevention and management.

Minimising the number of falls and pressure injuries in care facilities is vital for client safety and quality of life. Aged care clients are particularly vulnerable to falls and pressure injuries, due to their reduced mobility. Hearing loss is also particularly common in aged care facilities. Leaving hearing loss unaddressed can have a negative impact on a client’s quality of life.

Aged Care service providers should have robust policies and procedures in place, which aim to prevent and reduce the rate of pressure injuries, falls and harm from hearing loss. They should also have procedures which delegate responsibilities and effectively manage incidents as they happen.

To help you address the risks posed by falls, pressure injuries and hearing loss, we’ve put together a collection of policies and info sheets which work towards best practice for preventing and addressing high impact and high prevalence injuries.

Pressure injuries

One of the most commonly occurring preventable conditions, pressure injuries affect 42% of people in RACFs. They can cause death, infection, cellulitis, reduced physical mobility and pain. Our pressure injuries policy includes procedures on:

  • Assessment
  • Prevention
  • Warning signs
  • Treatment

Falls-related injuries

These are one of the leading causes of mortality in older Australians. Considerations such as syncope, dizziness and vertigo, vision, footwear and environmental considerations should be taken into account when conducting a risk assessment and implementing falls management strategies. Our policy addresses:

  • Risk screening and assessment
  • Staff training
  • Management strategies
  • Responding to falls

Hearing loss

If uncorrected, hearing loss can lead to a reduced quality of life, and increase the risks of developing depression and dementia. 85% of Australians in RACFs experience some form of hearing loss. Providers should implement a comprehensive hearing loss policy to ensure that clients receive the highest quality of care. Our policy covers:

  • Assessment and Identification
  • Communication
  • Staff responsibilities
  • Staff training

These resources have been developed as a guideline for your organisation to implement robust policies which help to address high impact risks.

They are available in SPP’s Reading Room.

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SPP has been a great resource for understanding and mapping Standards, preparing for Audits and also sourcing resources for policy development. I would recommend it to other organisations to complement their quality and compliance work. Information can be easily shared, and evidence gathered to support all work done.
Community mental health service provider, Victoria
I like the speed and ease of SPP, I love how it maps multiple standards. It’s so convenient, I couldn’t imagine the nightmare to do the work manually. The templates are great for gap analysis. SPP resource templates are great for implementing new policies in the office and for what we do day to day.
Large provider of settlement services to immigrants, New South Wales
I have found the SPP system amazing. It provides a structured way to work through the standards and then provide a succinct report on the evidence being provided for a surveyor to view how we meet the standard. I used this in our recent accreditation survey, the auditor was very impressed, AND we are now accredited for ISO 9001. Thanks again. A great system.
Provider of diverse range of health programs, Queensland
We really like SPP. We use the resources in the Reading Room and couldn't have passed our accreditation with flying colours without SPP.
Advocacy, support and education provider, Australian Capital Territory
Everything is going well with SPP. It’s helped us through three lots of accreditation over the past nine months plus some internal auditing, so I’m very glad to have had it to assist us through the processes.
Large regional multi-service provider, Victoria