AIM: The environmental scan aimed to deepen our understanding of the aged care work culture and to ascertain the readiness of the workers to advance towards team-based quality care provision.
BACKGROUND: The workplace context was a high-care unit within a large residential aged care facility.
METHODS: We used the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARiHS) framework to assess workplace readiness via interviews, individual surveys and observation of practice.
RESULTS: A profile of current culture emerged as mutually supportive and task focused, but at the same time lacking corporate team features of shared decision-making and feedback for practice improvement. However, latent within the frontline leaders and personal care staff, there was evidence of some embedded knowledge and capacity for corporate team performance.
CONCLUSIONS: This study has validated an evidence-based method for conducting environmental scanning in aged care, recommended before any major change is introduced.
IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: Environmental scanning helps gauge workforce capacity and limitations; this information can enable managers to capitalize on identified cultural strengths to fortify change and avoid pitfalls of personal and collective vulnerabilities.
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