New Quality Indicators for Elderly Care, Updated Handbook Released

The Department of Health and Aged Care has confirmed six additional quality indicators for residences for the elderly including Flinders University Customer Experience and Quality of Life Tools.

The National Mandatory Seniors Care Quality Indicators Program currently requires residential care providers for the aged to report on five domains of care: unplanned weight loss, pressure injuries, physical restraints, falls and serious injuries, and medication management.

The additional quality indicators will be introduced from April 1, 2023. They are detailed in the updated draft QA program manual with the existing indicators. The new IQs are:

  • activities of daily living – the percentage of care recipients who experienced a decline in activities of daily living
  • incontinence care – the percentage of care recipients who experienced incontinence-associated dermatitis
  • hospitalization – the percentage of care recipients who had one or more emergency department presentations
  • headcount – the percentage of staff turnover
  • consumer experience – the percentage of care recipients who report having a “good” or “excellent” service experience
  • quality of life – the percentage of care recipients who report a “good” or “excellent” quality of life.

This month’s confirmation of the new IQs follows a project to identify, assess and pilot evidence-based quality indicators across the four domains of quality of care and assessment tools for experience of the consumer and the field of quality of life.

Quality of Care Experience of Elderly Care Consumers (QCE-ACC) and Quality of Life of Elderly Care Consumers (QOL-ACC) from Flinders University are the assessment tools used for the experience of elderly care consumers. consumers and quality of life IQs. These tools were co-designed with older Australians to assess important aspects of consumer experience and quality of life.

The QCE-ACC includes six questions focusing on key attributes of the quality of care experience – respect and dignity, supported decision-making, elder care staff competencies, impact on health and well-being, social relations and connection to the community, and trust in filing complaints .

Similarly, the QOL-ACC includes six questions focusing on key attributes of quality of life – independence, mobility, pain management, emotional well-being, social relationships, and leisure/hobbies activities.

The new draft manual details the 11 quality indicators

Residential aged care providers must begin collecting new quality indicators during the April-June 2023 quarter and submit quality indicator data during the July 1-21, 2023 reporting period .

The introduction of new quality indicators by July 2023 is in line with the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Quality and Safety of Care for the Elderly.

The QI program aims to:

  • ensure providers have robust and valid data to measure and monitor their performance and support continuous improvement in the quality of care they provide to elderly care recipients
  • give older Australians, care recipients and the community transparent information about the quality of care for the elderly to facilitate decision-making
  • provide government with system-level measures of quality in care for the elderly and an evidence base to inform policy and regulation.

This requires specific methods for collecting, recording, submitting and interpreting information on quality indicators.

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About Irene J. O'Donnell

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