While we are waiting for the Aged Care Royal Commission (the Royal Commission) hearings to commence again next week we have taken some time to reflect on the enormous effort some providers have put in to ensure it is “business as usual.”
One of our clients had an extremely busy December and beginning of January preparing its submission for the Royal Commission. Prior to this the organisation had noted a softening in occupancy across the portfolio, and while many providers have been reporting this in metropolitan areas, this organisation decided to do something about it.
Ideal was engaged to analyse each home and work collaboratively to develop an optimal solution to increase occupancy.
With hindsight there were a number of mitigating factors impacting some or all of the sites; some of which included:
- Change in personnel at some sites
- Lack of a centralised repository of key contacts
- Improved level of amenity at local competitors
- Increased marketing activity by local competitors
- Change in pricing
- Varying degrees of outbound contact
- Local presentation varied greatly – some homes, while older, were immaculately presented and others were not
Ideal undertook a strategic market review of each site in the portfolio and identified activities specific to each home to improve occupancy locally.
While each home was very different and a specific plan was put in place, one home stood out as an outstanding example of what can be achieved with some solid facts and data, a good plan and coaching and mentoring of staff to ensure the plan is enacted.
- Identified its true competitors rather than worrying about high profile places tens of kilometres away
- Reviewed its service offer in comparison to local market
- Improved the overall presentation
- Identified strengths and developed clear messaging
- Reviewed pricing and adjusted accordingly
- Identified key contacts and developed a structured plan for contact whether this be face to face, by phone or email
- Improved communication and teamwork internally to facilitate the best possible experience for the potential residents
In three months the home has moved from 90% to 98% occupancy.
During this time some of the homes in the portfolio had unannounced visits from the Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission (the Commission) which resulted in resources being reallocated to some homes to assist in preparing information and responses to the Commission. At the time of writing all homes are compliant.
Added to this is a specific organisation-wide project to address the requirements of the new Aged Care Standards.
All up there has been a huge focus on other elements apart from the day to day running of a home.
So while many organisations will be caught up in all the new challenges facing the industry it is important to make sure that despite all the challenges, changes and increasing workloads that organisations ensure all elements of the business are aligned.
If you need assistance in maintaining “business as usual” to optimise your performance we are always happy to have an initial conversation and help you determine the best approach for your organisation.