8 July 2019

Quality improvement in aged care

Aged Care Clinical

If you look after patients in an aged care facility you should really have a look at this resource.

It’s from the Australian Government’s Department of Health and it basically gives you all you need to know about the most recent initiative to ensure a high standard of care in these aged care facilities.

From July 1, all such facilities that receive government subsidies for the services they provide need to collect and provide data on three specific adverse outcomes that residents might experience.

Specifically the government is asking these facilities to record information on pressure injuries, use of physical restraint and unplanned weight loss because these are indicators of clinical quality, or more exactly indicators of poor clinical quality.

Every three months residential facilities will need to submit this Quality Indicator (QI) data to the Department of Health which will generate a report.

So where do GPs fit in?

According to the resource information, GPs will need to get involved in making sure facilities proactively respond to this QI information.

The actions GPs are being asked to take are mainly about getting engaged in the programme – ask questions, ask to see the three-monthly QI reports and help with the interpretation of the information from these reports.

It will also be important that GPs contribute ideas on how to improve care.

Even though this new initiative is only looking at three indicators, and there are many more that could be considered such as pain and falls, these three were chosen because they each have a broad impact across a number of other care areas – these are the canaries in the mine so to speak. Improve these and a whole lot of other areas of care improve as well.

It’s not our usual type of recommended resource, but if you’re a GP looking after patients in aged care you will recognise how this initiative could be very important to the health of our elderly patients.

Check it out at the website below.


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