Quality of life tools to improve outcomes for aged care residents

Quality of life tools to improve outcomes for aged care residents

The provision of quality aged care continues to remain a concern for those older Australians who rely on community and aged care services to carry out their everyday activities.

A health policy brief, Quality of life tools to support measurement of aged care quality, released today by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association’s Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research, in collaboration with researchers from Western Sydney and Macquarie Universities, examines the evidence for how tools assessing quality of life indicators in aged care settings can foster change in the system; and provide improved health and wellbeing outcomes for residents.

‘Assessing quality of life accurately, and reporting the outcomes that matter is fundamental in improving the lives of Australians living in aged care,’ says Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association Acting CEO Kylie Woolcock.

‘This Evidence Brief looks at the viability of assessment tools used internationally and what this means for their application in the Australian Setting.

‘Australia’s current measurement of quality in aged care is heavily focused on clinical outcomes, and while this is important, it does not fully recognise the social, intellectual, cultural, and spiritual elements that contribute to the overall quality of someone’s life. By taking into consideration factors beyond someone’s clinical health, we can start to see real improvements for older Australians.

Implementation of these tools, as recommended in this Brief, will also provide data that will contribute to creating a more accurate picture of the quality of life for Australia’s aging population; and enable a more efficient and equitable allocation of resources in a sector already under pressure from the pandemic and workforce shortages.

‘It is crucial that a comprehensive implementation strategy is employed to ensure effective education for staff and service providers around how and when to use these tools, which tool to use in what situation, and how to record this information.’

This Brief also recommends increased transparency of reported outcomes and the introduction of simple, easy to understand standardised scores, that accurately reflect quality of life outcomes across aged care settings.

‘Making sense of raw quality of life data requires specialised knowledge and methods. To help people understand what this data means for them, or their family members, this information should be provided in an easy-to-understand format to inform facility and provider ratings that are suitable for the public.’

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) is the independent peak membership body and advocate for the Australian healthcare system and national voice for universally accessible, high quality health care in Australia.

Media enquiries: Kylie Woolcock, Chief Executive, AHHA, 0410 625 830, [email protected] 

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