As an Approved Provider within the Aged Care sector we have a mutual obligation to report incidents that occur with our customers.
Incidents and near misses do happen. It can be as simple as a customer providing incorrect information, to a more serious event such as an injury or death. Ageing customers are more prone to incidents which is why it’s important we report and respond appropriately.
Incident reporting in Aged Care is integral to protecting customers from the risk of harm (including elder abuse). It also informs continuous improvement in providing safe and quality care.
Reporting an Incident:
As soon as you become aware an incident has happened, please submit a report via your Service Provider Portal.
When writing details about the incident, write as much detailed information as you can. Information should be specific, factual and supporting evidence to be attached if available.
When we receive notification of an incident will we review the event and may contact you for additional information. Where relevant, feedback and outcome of investigation will be provided.
Why We Need to Report Incidents:
Everyone who receives care has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. To ensure this happens in Australia, there are very strict rules and regulations in place.
It is important that all incidents and near misses are reported to us so that we can continue to safely support a customer’s care needs.
- It helps us to identify if processes are not working as they should
- Identify trends that might indicate where problems may arise and to highlight areas that can be improved
- Ensures we are managing our duty of care for our mutual customers
Incident reporting and management compliments and supports various regulatory requirements including the Charter of Aged Care Rights, Quality Standards and Serious Incident Response Scheme.
What is Considered a Reportable Incident?
In most cases, if in doubt, it’s better to report an incident. An incident is defined as:
- an act, omission, event or circumstance that has, or could have (‘near miss’), caused harm to a consumer receiving services
- an act, omission, event or circumstance that happened in connection with the provision of services and that caused serious harm, or a risk of serious harm, to a person
- a reportable incident that is alleged to have occurred in connection with the provision of services
A Service Provider or Support Worker doesn’t have to be present when the incident has occurred, but as soon as they have knowledge of the event occurring are required to report it.
Examples of Incidents include:
- Customer had a fall
- Customer forgot to take medication or had reaction to prescribed medication
- Behaviour issues – if Support Worker or Service Provider notices change in cognition or mental health / moods
- Serious events such as medical emergencies or injuries which required medical attention
- Unintended event witnessed (for example Support worker arrived to find customer unconscious or deceased)
Serious Incident Reporting Scheme (‘SIRS’) Reportable Incidents
If you are providing services to aged care customers, you must ensure you are aware of your requirements under SIRS to assist Approved Providers to fulfil their obligations to report reportable incidents to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (Commission).
Reportable Incidents are those that:
Occur in connection with the provision of care or services
Have caused harm to a Consumer; and
Are one of the Eight Types of Reportable Incidents for home services, which include:
- Unreasonable use of force
- Unlawful sexual contact or inappropriate sexual conduct
- Psychological or emotional abuse
- Unexpected death
- Stealing or financial coercion
- Inappropriate use of restrictive practices; or
- Missing Consumers (this is intended to capture situations where a provider has the Consumer in their physical care immediately prior to their absence. It is not intended to require notification to the Commission when a provider arrives for a scheduled visit and there is no reason to be concerned about their absence, or where a Consumer leaves their home whilst, for example, home maintenance services are provided).
Reportable Incidents must be reported to the Commission. They are classified as “Priority 1” or “Priority 2” Reportable Incidents.
If either of these incidents occur during provision of your services , you must notify HomeMade as soon as possible. This is due to the fact that if an Approved Provider becomes aware of a Reportable Incident and has reasonable grounds to believe that the incident is a Priority 1 Reportable Incident, it must notify the Commission within 24 hours of becoming aware of the Reportable Incident. Where required, these incidents must also be reported to the Police.