Accreditation in Aged Care - Pain Management

Management of pain in age are facilities is part of the new Aged Care Quality Standards. 

Standard 3 Delivering personal care and/or clinical care

3.7 Identification and management of high-impact or high-prevalence risks associated with the care of each consumer, including but not limited to falls, pressure injuries, medication misadventure, choking, malnutrition, dehydration, pain and delirium.

Failure to demonstrate that effective pain management is implemented consistant with the assessed needs of care recipients can be grounds for failure of accreditation. 

Poor pain managment was recently sighted as a contributing factor for an Aged Care facility in NSW who recently had their accreditation licence revoked.  The story, run by the ABC can be read in full here. 

Nursing home's Federal Government accreditation revoked on back of ABC investigation


The AACQA have also recently focused on pain management in their June release of the Quality Standard newsletter. Link through to the newsletter which includes some rich resources for those wanting to learn more about pain management in aged care. Pain in aged care

In addition, to the links provided by the AACQA, here is a good article from the RACGP about pain managment in Aged care facilities. 

Nursing home patients Pain management in residential aged care facilitiy


What steps can you take to ensure your Aged Car Faciiity in meeting expectations in the provision of pain managment for care recipients?

To ensure your Aged Care Facilty in inline with best practice in regards to pain management, options include: 

  • Audit - care recipient observation and interview 
  • Audit - family interview including their perspective on pain management for their loved one
  • Audit - Case not audit against best medication management practice. 
  • Survey - include questions about pain management in care recipient and family survey
  • Action Plans - Demonstrate actions towards continuous improvement
  • External review - engage external auditors to conduct a review and provide an improvement plan.
  • Policy and Procedure Review - Are your policies and procedures reflective of best practice and written in such a way that everyone understands what is required. 
  • Training - are staff adequately trained in pain management 
  • Gap analysis - document the gaps discovered during audit and review, plan, take action and monitor to ensure compliance.