New aged care quality indicators, updated manual published

The Department of Health and Aged Care has confirmed six additional quality indicators for residential aged care including Flinders University’s consumer experience and quality of life tools.

The Department of Health and Aged Care has confirmed six additional quality indicators for residential aged care including Flinders University’s consumer experience and quality of life tools.

The National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program currently requires residential aged care providers to report on five areas of care – unplanned weight loss, pressure injuries, physical restraint, falls and major injury, and medication management.

The additional quality indicators will be introduced from 1 April 2023. They are detailed in the updated draft QI Program Manual along with the existing indicators. They new QIs 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
  • hospitalisation – the percentage of care recipients who had one or more emergency department presentations
  • workforce – the percentage of staff turnover
  • consumer experience – the percentage of care recipients who report ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ experience of the service
  • quality of life – the percentage of care recipients who report ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ quality of life.

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

Flinders University’s Quality of Care Experience Aged Care Consumers (QCE-ACC) and Quality of Life Aged Care Consumers (QOL-ACC) are the assessment tools used for the consumer experience and quality of life QIs. 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 focused on key attributes to the quality of care experience – respect and dignity, supported decision-making, skills of aged care staff, impact on health and wellbeing, social relationships and community connection, and confidence in lodging complaints.

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

The new draft manual details all 11 quality indicators

Residential aged care providers must start collecting new quality indicators in the April – June 2023 quarter and submit quality indicator data in the 1 – 21 July 2023 reporting period.

Introducing new quality indicators by July 2023 aligns with recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. 

The QI program aims to:

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

It requires specific methods for collecting, recording, submitting, and interpreting information about the quality indicators.

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Tags: flinders-university, national aged care mandatory quality indicator program, quality indicators, quality of life,

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