EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATIONS IN AGED CARE
Aged Care staff should have simple and effective communication tools to access relevant information whilst on-the-go, that ensures high-quality patient care.
The New Normal
Communication is embedded in the new standards
The Aged Care industry is undergoing significant change. It is under increasing pressure to increase standards and improve the wellbeing of staff and residents. It cannot afford to overlook how it gathers feedback and communicates. Recommendation 109 of the Aged Care Royal Commission suggests that the use of Information and Communication Technologies will be an important factor in improving the quality and delivery of aged care. Communication is a key element of the 2019 aged care quality standards, being:
Standard 6: The organisation regularly seeks input and feedback from consumers, carers, the workforce and others and uses the input and feedback to inform continuous improvements for individual consumers and the whole organisations.
Standard 7: The organisation has a workforce that is sufficient, and is skilled and qualified to provide safe, respectful and quality care and services including regular assessment, monitoring and review of the performance of each member of the workforce.
These standards are aimed primarily at improving resident care and at their core is communication between staff, carers and service staff.
It is these employees who make the difference to the everyday lives of the elderly and the people they care for. Having staff constantly informed of new care standards, providing them the ability to rapidly share information, on-the fly training and giving them the tools to provide instant feedback, give measurable benefits . By having staff connected, they can share observations quickly with colleagues, alert supervisors and management of known issues, identify improvements and most importantly be involved and engaged.
The Importance of communication among employees
A foundation of Long Term Care (LTC) is teamwork. However, even in the most organised teams, multiple interpersonal and communication problems emerge. The problems stem from workers focusing on their own positions and responsibilities, without considering the total resident picture. Fragmented communication leads to confusion and frustration among staff and residents.
Assessment and care planning are integral to resident well-being. Good assessment and care planning includes effective and productive two-way communication between professionals, staff, and administrators. When communication is clear and precise, mistakes are less likely to occur.
Staff Satisfaction and Retention
In a study of job satisfaction among health care workers, communication with supervisors was identified as a top component of worker satisfaction. Coworker relationships and communication are another aspect of job satisfaction. Effective coworker communication is one of the keys to retaining staff and ensuring that residents’ needs are met. Effective communication between coworkers results in increased levels of understanding and cooperative endeavors between disciplines.
Bridging the Communications Gap.
Problems frequently begin when aspects of hierarchy influence communication, especially among nursing staff and physicians. Communication also breaks down when various disciplines conduct their work without paying attention to the work of other disciplines. Often people who are employed on a temporary or part-time basis experience less communication, especially positive and consistent communication, with their coworkers. Communication among coworkers contributes to emotionally satisfying relationships for residents in LTC facilities.
The use of an Employee Communication Application is now a fundamental tool for all Aged Care providers.
Read how Staffbase can be adopted to overcome these issues and make your organisation a more effective workplace.
The aged care industry is under intense pressure: a Royal Commission, new aged care quality standards, workforce challenges, declining staff satisfaction and lower retention.
Extracted from report Published: 14 October 2017 on Perceptions of Communication and Respect Among Coworkers in Long-Term Care Environment.