To make sure you’re receiving the best care possible, all aged care homes need to meet accreditation standards to receive government subsidies. As well as accreditation standards, quality indicators have been developed to help you when you’re considering aged care services. They measure the quality of care and services offered, and provide useful information for people looking at the quality of care provided by an aged care home.
Quality indicators program
The National Aged Care Quality Indicator Program currently relates only to aged care homes. The program started in January 2016 and is voluntary, so aged care homes can choose whether they participate and use these quality indicators or not. It is planned that the program will expand over time to include more quality indicators and more types of aged care services.
Quality indicators are one way that aged care service providers can gather information about the quality of care they provide. The program can complement other quality of care measures that service providers may use. Through the program, they can compare their performance against other service providers in a consistent way and on a national basis. The program supports providers to undertake continuous quality improvement to their services.
Current quality indicators
The current quality indicators measure aspects of the quality of clinical care in aged care homes:
These have been selected because they can happen to older people who live in aged care homes.
Future quality indicators
More quality indicators will be introduced in the future. Research is being done to make sure the information collected is valid and reliable. Future quality indicators will cover both aged care homes and home care services, and may include measures such as experiences of care and quality of life.
How does the program operate?
The program aims to help you understand what level of quality to expect in aged care.
Service providers can use these indicators to improve their care and services. In time, participating service providers will be able to share their results and tell you how they are actively monitoring and improving the quality of their services. You can then use this information to help make decisions about your care, and to choose the right service provider for your needs.
Aged care service providers participating in the program collect and submit data to the Australian Government every three months. They can then access a report comparing their results to other homes taking part in the program. The government does not receive any data that can personally identify you.
All aged care homes need to meet accreditation standards, whether or not they participate in the quality indicators program. All service providers should be able to tell you about the quality of their care and services, and their improvement activities.
How can I be involved?
If your aged care home participates in the National Aged Care Quality Indicator Program you can receive information about how the results will be collected and used. Your results are anonymous, but will provide valuable information for your aged care home to improve their care and services.
Read more about quality on the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency website.