What role will the Aged Care Star Rating system play?

Felicx article

Suzi Cowcher

Authored by

I have been pondering the proposed Star Rating system emanating from the Aged Care Royal Commission.

A reminder of what is proposed under Recommendation 24…

It is heartening to see that the experiences of care recipients and their families is planned to be included in the star rating approach. As we understand it, an algorithm will be applied to the data to generate a star rating, with the consumer experience feedback being one part of it.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner, Janet Anderson, spoke at the recent ACSA Online Summit and appears to be enthusiastically embracing the Star Rating approach and reinforced her commitment to have this implemented by the end of 2022.

As I see it, the Star Rating system may be helpful for those people seeking services to navigate publicly available information about a service more easily and use it to weigh up which provider they will choose for residential and home aged care services.

It should assist government to be more publicly accountable and share the information they have about compliance, complaints, quality indicators and the like.

But will the Star Rating system really drive improvement in care experiences for current care recipients?  I am not sure about this.

I have been thinking about where independent consumer experience providers like Felicx can value add and compliment the new Star Rating approach. See below for a summary of the different roles of the proposed Star Rating system and the Felicx style customer experience (CX) approach.

Felicx provides independent CX data direct to the care provider, as part of a systematic, multi-source CX programme, which generates insights that can be practically actioned to improve the care experience for those receiving care. It is intended to provide deep on-the-ground insights. It is not primarily a tool of compliance; however, it will substantially assist providers to proactively maintain their compliance. It does this by embedding feedback from the care recipient and their family into the improvement cycle at a local level.

Approaches such as Felicx will be an essential part of improving care experiences and preventing non-compliances, complaints, poor quality experiences, unactioned adverse events and poor Star Ratings.

Star Ratings will not in and of themselves improve care experiences. So, it is important that Care Providers have their own robust and independent means to hear what their care recipients and families think of how well they are meeting expectations. Then action this feedback and embed the improvements.

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