Our governance structure is not working - our systems and processes are good but our outcomes are not where we want them
Good Governance Matters
When governance is ineffective in aged care the results are ugly but often hidden. This is rapidly changing with an increasing focus on unnanounced visits by the Quality Agency and a rise in understanding and expectations by consumers and their families.
Traditionally, across the aged, community and disability sector, governance has not been a high priority with a reliance on individual carers and clinicians to do the right thing. Sadly this doesn’t already happen.
What is Governance?
Governance is the action or manner of governing an organisation. In many health related organisations this has focussed only on the business of running an organisation and not the core business function of providing great care. This resulted in poor outcomes for consumers time and time again. Today, organisations know that having good governance structures in place across all aspects is critical to commercial and consumer goals.
What Does Good Governance Look Like?
In really simple terms good governance means that the people leading and managing the organisation have the right information to help them make decisions and allocate resources to the right places. There are clear ‘red flag’ indicators and processes for addressing problems.
It means that staff at the point of care are clear about how to deliver care in the way the organisation has determined and expects, they have the skills, abilities and equipment to do their jobs well and they know how to escalate and resolve issues appropriately.
Consumers are involved in their care and also in the planning and delivery of care systems and there is active engagement at all levels.
There is a clear flow of information from point of care to board and back.
What Does Poor Governance Look Like?
We’ve all seen poor governance. Poor governance appears in the headlines with tags like ‘My husband suffered in a nursing home’ and ‘Disability Service Provider Investigated Over Deaths’. The outcomes for the most vulnerable in our society are dire at the hands of organisations with ineffective governance.
It’s where the board or leadership team don’t have line of sight to what is happening at the point of care. Key risk areas are not monitored or managed. Red flags are missing or ignored.
There is a disconnect between levels of the organisation with areas operating in silos, low engagement of staff, a lack of accountability and little or no consumer input into care.
What Can ACDN do for you?
Using a range of assessment tools ACDN can work with you to determine the best solution.