Aged care homes have recorded significant decreases in unplanned weight loss, falls that result in major injury, antipsychotic medication use, and use of physical restraint among residents – according to the latest quality indicator report.
Published online by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the report reveals trends in quality indicator performance across eight quarters – 2021-22 to 2022-23.
The analysis also shows that during that time there was no significant change in the proportion of residents experiencing falls or with one or more pressure injuries.
For the April to June 2023 period, 2,387 residential facilities or 90 per cent of services that claimed Australian Government subsidies for delivering aged care provided QI data – slightly less than the previous quarter (94 per cent).
The latest QI report – the first collated by the AIHW – shows 5.9 per cent of residents had one or more pressure injury, on a par with the previous quarter – 5.8 per cent.
Recorded instances of physical restraint for the period was at 18.1 per cent compared to 19.5 per cent the previous quarter.
Significant unplanned weight loss among residents for the period was at 7.7 per cent compared to 8.6 per cent the previous quarter.
The total percentage of falls between April and June was 32.1; falls that resulted in major injury was 1.9 per cent. The previous quarter recorded 31 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively.
Analysing medication management data in residential aged care, the QI report shows a polypharmacy rate of 35.8 per cent.
Antipsychotic drug use was at 18.1 per cent. Again, both figures are similar to the previous quarter – 36 per cent; 18. 4 per cent.
Since 1 July 2019, participation in the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program has been a requirement for all Australian Government-subsidised aged care homes.
Until 30 June 2021, the QI Program featured three QIs – pressure injuries, use of physical restraint, unplanned weight loss. On 1 July 2021, the QI Program was expanded with falls and major injury, and medication management added to the list.
Then, on 1 April 2023, the QI Program was further expanded to include six new categories:
- activities of daily living
- incontinence care
- consumer experience
- quality of life.
These new categories have yet to feature in a QI report.