The Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency handed down a positive report card for the industry when it released the figures from the third round of Accreditation in August.
As at 31 December 2006, 91.8 per cent of the 2,872 Government-funded residential aged care facilities had met all 44 of the Expected Outcomes in their last assessment decision.
The results show a significant improvement from the first round of accreditation in 2000 when only 63.5 per cent of homes achieved top marks.
The strong performances were spread evenly with high rates of compliance recorded in all states. Western Australia had the biggest proportion of homes that satisfied all the outcomes (95.3 per cent) and Tasmania had the lowest (87.6 per cent).
And in most cases of non-compliance, the deficiencies were few and the problems were rectified quickly. Almost two thirds of facilities that failed to meet all the outcomes only had problems in one or two areas, and 97 per cent of homes with issues achieved compliance within the timetable for improvement (TFI) set by the agency.
Areas with the highest rates of non-compliance include continuous improvement, information systems, clinical care and medication management. But even in these areas, significant improvements have been made over the last six years.
In 2000, there were 245 cases of non-compliance with Expected Outcome 2.5 (Clinical care) but only 73 were recorded in 2006.
Medication management is also among the biggest improvers with only 52 facilities found to be non-compliant last year compared to 208 six years earlier.
“Whilst continuous improvement still remains an area of non-compliance, it’s actually the adoption of an attitude of continuous improvement that has driven the general improvement that the statistics show,” said the agency’s CEO, Mark Brandon (pictured).
“The main message out of this last round is that people within the industry are on board with continuous improvement, they are on board with quality care and they are committed to achieving good outcomes for their residents.”