Dr Tracey McDonald AM PhD FACN, Professor of Ageing, 2006
Has quality of healthcare improved in the aged care industry? Perceptions that healthcare standards have been improving over recent years, are difficult to sustain without details on changes in health personnel attitudes; data from quality assurance processes; clear standards for protocols and the collection of data on outcomes of care.
Over the past five years a growing interest from aged care managers keen to understand how well they are performing has prompted growth in awareness and confidence around key performance indicators. Aged care providers’ commitment to quality management reflects a culture of quality where voluntary monitoring of performance indicators enables strategies to be put in place to address impending declines in performance.
Since 2000, over 500 providers have contributed to a database of key care and management outcomes which contains the proof. Access to the database was granted to an independent research team at ACU National by Quality Performance Systems (QPS) and the analysis has revealed encouraging results in terms of improvements overall to resident outcomes. For instance, the rate of pressure areas in high care have reduced from an industry average of 10.6% in 2001 to 4.2% in 2006; Hospital transfers as a % total residents has fallen from 23% in 2001 to 10% in 2006; Resident aggression episodes as a % of total residents has dropped from 42% in 2001 to only 6% in 2006; whereas staff accidents per hour of work have reduced from 0.38 to 0.26.
Similar improvements are observed in other quality indicators that are collected. The answer to the question is, “Yes!” and in this presentation the proof will be shared with the conference delegates