Standard One

Standard 1 – Consumer Choice and Dignity is the bedrock for compliance under the new Aged Care Quality Standards (ACQS). It underpins and is linked to all the other standards. Meeting its requirements is paramount for compliance.

At its core, Standards 1 seeks to ensure good consumer experience, which occurs when an individual’s experience matches or exceeds their expectations. Providers must therefore understand what their model of care looks like for the consumer and tailor their interactions across the care journey with reference to predicted patterns of expectation.

Partner – Quality & Clinical Governance

Learnings from the healthcare sector

The National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards which governs the compliance of the Healthcare sector has been in place for over 6 years. Standard 2 of the NSQHS – Partnering with Consumers, parallel’s Standard 1 of the ACQS.

While there are clear differences between the standards and its application, an area of learning which the healthcare sector provides us is in its definition of meeting consumer expectations.

The NSQHS defines consumer expectations as the anticipation that given events are likely to occur during, or as an outcome of, healthcare.

These expectations are sub-categorised as;

Predicted expectations: what people think or believe will actually happen
Normative expectations: what people think or believe should happen
Unformed expectations: expectations that individuals are not able to adequately express, typically due to lack of experience with a given situation.
Process expectations (e.g. what is expected from health practitioners, contents of health information, healthcare environments) and
Outcome expectations (e.g. alleviation of illness, restoration of health).

In general, consumer expectations of healthcare will be compared by consumers with their experience of what actually happened during their healthcare intervention, service or treatment.

This then influences their perception and satisfaction with that experience. For example, where healthcare exceeds expectations, increased satisfaction may be reported by consumers (and vice-versa).

The consumer journey in aged care is different to the healthcare sector, however the principles remain the same.

Exceeding consumer expectations

The consumer journey in aged care can be mapped as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Consumer journey in aged care

Good consumer experience occurs when an individual’s experience matches or exceeds their expectations across all interactions on the consumer journey.

Each provider will have its own policies and procedures for achieving this. However, if you are not already implementing these action – we recommend that you consider:

Handovers at the bedside

Other than the benefits in earlier detection of clinical deterioration, imagine the difference it makes to consumer satisfaction  when the nurses completing the handover acknowledges the residents and says ‘hello Shirley, it was a pleasure looking after you today, Katrina will now be looking after you this afternoon and if you need anything please let her know.

Promoting health literacy

We believe that as consumers are better informed about their care and services, their expectations for the care provided will align with best practice. One example is the use of bedrails – the consumer expectation is “my mum used bed rails in the hospital and that will make her feel safe in aged care. Providers need to be able to explain the risks and associated mitigations in a language which

Consumer participation in strategic planning

One of our clients has implemented consumer participation in strategic planning through a national consumer advocate role and family and friend’s advocacy committee, held by an external member of the community. They speak to the benefit of this and how it has led to increased consumer engagement and participation.

Measuring Success

As with most things, to improve performance requires setting baseline measures – we recommend the following tools:

Net promoter score is 1-10 score that measures the promoters and detractors in your organisation.
CSAT is a 5-star rating, targets the here and now and measures reaction to a specific interaction.
Surveys for self-reporting on experience and satisfaction.
Never underestimate the power of a simple conversation.

From our experience the most successful organisations use multiple data sources and triangulate this data to build the full picture.

With increasing consumer and regulator expectations, providers must understand the consumer experience along their journey of interaction with a focus on, not just satisfying, but exceeding consumer expectations.

Interested in Our Services?

To find out more on how we can help you, contact Katrina Ong on 02 9239 9004 or email