Our role in shaping and planning our care and services is about to increase dramatically in the Australian aged care landscape.
How will this happen?
- The Federal Government has foreshadowed a move to ‘consumer’ directed care as it rolls toward a market based aged care system.
- Medicare Locals will be working to ensure that local health and aged care services are integrated and meet the needs of consumer.
Some would say this is long overdue but we predict it will still come as a shock for consumers and more importantly to some of those who deliver services.
This shift is twofold, at one levels it puts us as the recipient of care in the driver seat (without overdoing the simile) mapping out and steering the course to meeting our care needs, while at yet another level it has us as co-manager of care services.
Consumer Directed – its all about ‘you’
The paradigm shift towards consumer directed care in Australia has been slow in arriving. We are not alone though in seeking to define what this might mean.
What defines a service that is ‘patient centered’ or ‘consumer centered’?
Recently in the UK a group of health and care charities came together to outline what defines and represents success in a successful patient centred care service
- “co-ordinated care
- patients engaged in decisions about their care
- supported self-management
- prevention, early diagnosis and intervention
- emotional, psychological and practical support.”
What then of our role as co-managers of healthcare?
Juries – put us in
The emergence of ‘community councils’ or ‘citizens juries’ as mechanisms to engage and get feedback on service needs and gaps is yet another trend which allows us the consumer to participate in the planning and design of serivces.
This approaches mimics that used by business who use customer input to drive innovation in services or products. Business are encouraged to learn from their customers. This trend is coming late to health and aged care.
One such citizen jury in Tasmania is an outcome of the move towards Medicare Locals and their imperative to ensure integrated care in your local community.