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New resource to evaluate quality of residential care

A new evidenced-based tool allows aged care providers to gain insights into their residents’ experiences of aged care through a six-question survey.

The Consumer Choice Index – 6 Dimension (CCI-6D) is a one-page questionnaire developed to specifically evaluate the quality of care in aged care homes from a consumer perspective.

It has been designed by the Investigating Services Provided in the Residential Care Environment for Dementia (INSPIRED) team at Flinders University and funded by the NHMRC Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre.

CCI-6D measures the extent to which:

  • formal caregivers are able to spend enough time attending to individual’s needs;
  • the shared spaces of the facility are home-like and non-institutional;
  • the individual rooms of the facility are homelike and non-institutional;
  • there is choice in access to outside and gardens;
  • there is access to meaningful activities individualised for the person;
  • there is flexibility in the time that care activities are undertaken.

Research team member Dr Suzanne Dyer said the tool addressed shortcomings of previous efforts to measure quality in aged care homes that have focused mostly on the perspectives and opinions of staff or independent assessors.

“The CCI-6D bridges this gap, with a questionnaire that measures quality of care developed from its inception from the perspectives of residents and family members,” she said.

It can also be used by organisations to evaluate the success of interventions and innovations to improve care from their customers’ perspectives, she said.

The developers recommended the tool as an effective response to the recent Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes‘ calls for better systems of information sharing on provider performance and consumer directed care.

They presented the tool to the Senate Inquiry into the Effectiveness of the Aged Care Quality Assessment and accreditation framework last week.

The index could also provide a framework for national benchmarks and ratings in aged care, which if made available to the public, could help families make more informed choices about aged care providers, they said.

The project’s paper was recently published in Ageing and Society and is available here.

The CCI-6D resources, which include a user guide for providers, question show cards and information summaries for both industry and consumers, are available here.

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