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Continuous improvement is a systematic, ongoing effort to improve the quality of care and services for aged care consumers.
Under the Rules, the provider of an aged care service must have a written Plan for Continuous Improvement (PCI) for the service that explains how they will assess, monitor and improve their quality of care and services. Further, Standard 8 of the Quality Standards requires the organisation’s governing body to be accountable for the delivery of safe and quality care and services. This includes having effective organisation- wide governance systems relating to continuous improvement. In practice this means that organisations must have a PCI and check their progress against this plan to improve the quality and safety of care and services. This has increased the focus on self-assessment as a core component of the continuous improvement process.
We may request a copy of a service’s PCI at any time. If there are circumstances where the Commissioner reasonably believes it is necessary for a service’s PCI to be revised to ensure compliance with the Quality Standards, a Direction to revise a PCI may be issued. Where there are areas in which improvements in relation to the service are needed to ensure the Quality Standards are complied with, the PCI should set out how the provider of the service will make those improvements. The Commission then monitors the provider to ensure that the necessary improvements are made.