At the core of working in the care sector is the need to ensure people with a disability have high quality supports in a safe environment. Ensuring your services are of the highest quality and are provided in a safe environment can take a lot of time and resources. Having a good quality management system (QMS) is a big part of this. A QMS can help your business:
- provide consistent quality services
- increase satisfaction in people receiving supports
- prevent or minimise risks and incidents
- identify and implement areas for improvement
- identify training opportunities.
A QMS can also help to engage a business’s workforce by better involving them in QMS processes. A frontline worker who knows where to obtain information, how to handle an incident, or where to report a hazard, becomes more of a partner to the business, not just an employee, as they are empowered to overcome most daily challenges.
Risk management is one of the most often misunderstood areas for providers. A QMS should help you manage risks to your business, the services provided, and workplace environment, in a streamlined manner . A QMS should allow you to identify and rate risks, assign strategies to mitigate those risks, and easily report on all risks or specific risks.
Risk management is an area that all workers should participate in. But this can only be achieved if the business’s QMS processes are easily accessible to all staff. Afterall, what good is a QMS if only managers can report a risk?
Of all the challenges you and your workers face, managing incidents is likely to be near top of the list. Despite this, many providers do not have a straightforward incident reporting system. Without easy-to-use incident reporting, some incidents, particularly near misses, may go unreported. Complicated incident reporting is one of the main reasons workers may not report these incidents. An accessible QMS reduces barriers for your workers to report all types of incidents by simplifying incident reporting.
Continuous improvement is often another confusing area for providers. A key part of quality management, continuous improvement aims to improve processes and services via input from feedback and complaint management, incident management, and risk management. For your workers,
Other benefits of a QMS
As we’ve seen, there are many ways a QMS especially one that is accessible, can benefit a business, improve services, and improve engagement with workers. A QMS also has other useful benefits such as demonstrating compliance with the NDIS, which is useful during a quality audit, and for ongoing NDIS compliance. Beside this, other benefits of a QMS can include:
- identifying metrics or objectives for measuring service performance
- identifying resources needed to meet key service objectives
- simpler quality management oversight for key personnel
- easier ways to measure benefits of implemented improvements.