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Emergency Management in Aged Care

Last month marked the end of an 18-month program that saw First 5 Minutes and our sister company, RiskLogic, train almost 2,000 managers or senior managers across the aged care sector. Whilst being well‑versed in emergency management and clinical care, many participants recognised that they weren’t adequately prepared to respond to complex incidents. The program was tailored in partnership with the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care (DoH). The Emergency and Crisis Management Program was prioritised for the aged care sector due in part to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, with the aim to support senior leadership development through targeted training.

Delivered against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and declared natural disasters, the training proved timely and relevant for aged care providers preparing for, and responding to, a range of high impact issues.

First 5 Minutes and RiskLogic developed a series of short online modules together with group and 1-2-1 mentoring sessions which enabled participants to apply knowledge gained and step through crisis management tools with leading advisors. The program covered areas including, threat environment, crisis management principles, activation of response teams, governance, and critical communications.

[the] analysis of pre/post training survey responses (from almost 2,000 training participants) identified a significant improvement in participants’ emergency and crisis management capability. – DoH

Emergency Management in Aged Care

At the completion of the course 95% of participants rated their understanding of escalation and assessment of emerging crises as either Good or Excellent, displaying a significant shift in understanding and application of tools. The ability to make adequate assessments early enables leadership to establish and maintain control, reducing risks and further impacts to critical operations.

Participants’ knowledge related to the role of the Governing Body rose from 46% to 93%. The role of the Governing Body, whether a small leadership team or board is critical to managing an emergency or crisis. – RiskLogic & First 5 Minutes

For many across the targeted sector, this program provided the initial exposure to the key phases, concepts and response strategies related to emergency management and resilience. While many organisations are well established in responding to critical incidents, the ability to adequately prepare for and respond to complex emergencies or crises requires further collaboration and development.

The ability to demonstrate sound understanding of operational and strategic interdependencies through emergency management and business continuity is an asset to any leadership team and a skill set that can be addressed through a tailored industry program such as this.

A proactive and committed approach generated increased participant engagement (amongst an already time-pressed cohort). This was supported by the development of high‑quality, tailored training materials, which helped to deliver tangible improvements in aged care sector emergency/crisis management and preparedness. – DoH

Many organisations continue to manage the flow on effects from the pandemic, in parallel with workforce continuity stress, and impacts of recent flooding. As the need for adaptation and flexibility rises, organisational resilience has never been more pertinent in establishing support for people, the workplace, and business operations.

The training program developed for the Department demonstrated our collective ability to support leadership during difficult times with skills and resources that were immediately implemented.  Consider how we can support your industry or organisation in the coming months to develop your emergency response strategies and resilience.

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