Why Consumer Feedback is Important in Residential Aged Care

Consumer experience is an important factor to consider and prioritise, regardless of business or industry. This is particularly essential in the healthcare industry, which includes community or residential aged care services and facilities.

With the elderly population continuing to rapidly grow, addressing their needs should remain a priority. To do that, healthcare agencies and facilities should gather feedback on the experiences of their elderly patients and residents.

Quality watchdog, Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA), has initiated a consumer feedback measure and published a report relative to the community and residential aged care context. With the assistance of La Trobe University, the agency or facility is able to study and evaluate what influences older Australians to choose the care they want, and how they assess the services residential aged care facilities provide.

Why welcome consumer feedback?
It’s important for health or aged care providers to know what their patients or residents think of their services. By doing so they can measure consumer satisfaction and know if their services meet patient needs and expectations. It also enables them to create and offer better experiences, promote transparency, forge better relationships, and improve consumer retention. When residents (and their families) are satisfied and happy in their environment and with the care they receive, they will be more likely to stay in that facility.

What information is needed and how to gather it?
Gathering consumer feedback can be done through surveys and online or face-to-face interviews. Agencies like the AACQA can ask the residents of aged care facilities questions related to safety, staff competence and how they are treating them, whether their healthcare needs are met, timeliness of service, and much more.

It should be a priority for every residential aged care facility to provide their residents with a high quality service and an excellent consumer experience. Achieving this is possible by leveraging consumer feedback. Facilities should invest time in finding out what type of care elderly patients need and want, and then providing it to them.  At Aged Care GP, providing exceptional care to residents and their families is a priority. We work in partnership with facilities to help deliver high quality and tailored GP services to meet the unique and individual needs of residents.