A practical guide for aged care administrators to manage COVID-19 visitor compliance.
Unlocking the role of tech in compliance and care, we look at the latest requirements announced by the Federal and State governments on Residential Aged Care Facilities and the role of tech in managing this compliance.
Imagine how many co-workers and other people one casual shift-worker could come in contact with over a couple of weeks. Now imagine that worker has Covid-19.
From 21st April 2020, visitors to aged care facilities must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person does not enter or remain on the premises if they do not meet the flu vaccination (and other) requirements set out in the relevant state and territory directions.
Entry restrictions demand precise record-keeping of staff, carer, resident, visitor and contractor movements. The Federal Government recommends, and it is legislated in most states, that Providers maintain records to support effective administration and to substantiate their compliance. While the legislation is vague given its speed, providers are urged to err on the side of caution and collect all visitor information possible to help drive data-driven decisions and track potential Covid-19 cases.
Are flu vaccines part of aged care compliance?
Flu vaccinations are compulsory under most state and territory plans to avoid overloading the health system and endangering at-risk patients.
Will everyone entering a residential aged care facility need to have a flu vaccination?
In most states and territories, yes. Some exceptions may apply.
What are the current restrictions and planned changes?
From 21st April 2020, everyone entering a Residential Aged Care facility requires proof of current flu vaccination.
The new Federal and State directions apply to:
- health practitioners
- contractors including cleaners and maintenance staff.
What restrictions do and don’t apply in my state? Who has to check?
If you’re not sure about what applies in your state, contact your relevant state or territory departments. Providers are legally obliged to seek documentary evidence of immunisation status (or evidence of an exemption available in the State).
What is accepted as proof of current flu vaccination?
Documentary evidence can include:
- a statement or record from a health practitioner (a GP or vaccination clinic)
- an immunisation history statement available from Medicare online or the Express Plus Medicare mobile app.
How do you keep track of who is where and when?
This is the key to your compliance with the restrictions and keeping a trackable record of movements around the aged care facility. Using an app or program that records staff, resident and visitor profiles simplifies the paperwork, reduces the risk of human error that an immunisation certificate is overlooked, and puts the control back in your hands to know who is where at any time.
How can you keep your facility compliant?
In Humanforce, simply create a Qualification called ‘Immunisation Status Verified’ or similar, upload a copy of the documentary evidence to your staff member's profiles, and make this a mandatory qualification for all Locations, Departments and Roles. This ensures that staff yet to be vaccinated or who haven’t supplied documentation are unable to be accidentally rostered by mistake.
For visitors, health practitioners, volunteers and tradespeople create a number of new employment types and add these individuals into Humanforce as the relevant type. Enter their names and other personal details, attach the ‘Immunisation Status Verified’ qualification and upload the evidence document.
You can add information such as the name of the patient the visitor visits, and assign people to one or more Locations and Departments - for example, a tradesperson’s record and Immunisation Status can be shared by multiple facilities.
You can even take the extra step of using Humanforce to clock in/out or check-in all visitors, with the option to print out a badge, sticker, or wristband on check-in if required.
Administrative staff at a facility can easily access Humanforce to check an individual’s immunisation status as being current or not, all while protecting sensitive medical information which is stored securely in Humanforce.
You can allow reception staff to view the status, but tightly restrict access to the stored document, which may contain confidential data, especially in the case of an exemption.
You can even upload a profile photo of the visitor, so your staff can check it when granting access.
Using Humanforce in case of an outbreak
Contact tracing functionality is even more useful if you clock on/off everyone on site.
In the event of illness, accurate records of attendance for everyone, not just staff, means the effectiveness of Humanforce’s Contact Trace reports and features are enhanced. It extends the traceable pool to all concurrent attendees of the facility – all in one report.
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