Assessment tool receives positive feedback

The tool will support a single aged care assessment system.

A new integrated tool for assessing people for aged care services has been given the thumbs up by trial participants, according to a government report.

Trialled across the country between April and July 2023, a total of 22,002 assessments were completed using the Integrated Assessment Tool.

“The majority of assessors indicated, through channels such as the monthly assessors’ surveys, that they had a positive experience using the IAT,” write the report’s authors.

To access Commonwealth aged care services older people are currently required to undergo an assessment to determine their eligibility and care needs. The information is captured through the National Screening and Assessment Form, which the IAT will eventually replace.

While similar to the NSAF, the IAT has additional features to provide better insights and understanding about the person being assessed. The tool assesses a variety of functional needs including activities of daily living, cognition, frailty, and medical conditions.

Diverse client demographics were included in the trial including First Nations people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse populations, and in rural and remote settings.

While approving of the new tool overall, the assessors’ feedback did contain some criticism. The tool, for example, has too many drop-down boxes; the font used is hard to read due to its grey colour and small size. The hover help boxes did not provide specific enough information. Goal-setting questions were found to be repetitive while other questions needed further explanation and guidance. A number of questions also caused client fatigue or distraction, especially among those with limited English, according to the final report.

Tim Hicks

Responding to the report’s findings on LinkedIn, Tim Hicks – executive general manager, policy and advocacy, at Bolton Clarke – said: “We now have evidence on the suitability of the font colours and hover boxes. I can’t find anything in the report on the accuracy or reliability of the assessments. Or even the required completion time and cost. But there is some qualitative feedback … which is sort of helpful, I guess.”

Meanwhile, organisations with the capacity and capability to deliver aged care assessments are invited by the Department of Health and Aged Care to participate in a tender process for the provision of services to support the Single Aged Care Assessment System.

The Single Aged Care Assessment System – which is due to launch from 1 July – will incorporate the current Regional Assessment Service, Aged Care Assessment Teams and Australian National Aged Care Classification assessment organisations to undertake all aged care assessments. Closing date for the tender invite is 14 March at 2pm AEDT.

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Tags: Department of Health & Aged Care, Integrated Assessment Tool, Tim Hicks,

1 thought on “Assessment tool receives positive feedback

  1. These assessments were completed with the one on one help of an assisstant. This will not be the case when they are actually used in the field. People in many rural and regional areas receive good reception only when standing on a chair in the kitchen or walking up the nearest hill. I can see a few pdoblems here, can you?

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