Do we need a better way to rate aged care facilities?

This week there’s been a lot of discussion in the media about the rates of malnutrition, pressure sores and other medical issues in our aged care homes and why these figures are not available to the public. 

The fact is most states don’t require this clinical data to be collected – a flaw with the current system. 

There is good news for residents and their families however.  

The Government’s new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) starts 1 January 2019 and will see performance ratings against quality standards for aged care homes made available to the public for the first time.  

This includes data on clinical outcomes including pressure sores, malnutrition and physical restraint. 

Improving outcomes for residents 

It is always going to be difficult for providers to have zero cases of these incidents. 

I know from experience that residents are often frail with a number of chronic conditions. This puts them at much greater risk of falls, unplanned weight loss and multiple medication use. 

But research has shown that publishing this kind of data does improve outcomes for residents – and more transparency can only be a good thing. 

At agedcare101, we have found the best way for families to make a well-informed decision is to use a wide range of sources to find the right facility. 

As we have covered, the AACQA does provide consumer experience reports for aged care homes on its website here. 

These are real comments from residents and their families on the care they are receiving – and worth a look if you are considering aged care. 

You can also find more information on agedcare101 here

Credit: 9 News. 

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A special thanks to our contributors

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Journalist

Journalist

Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the Villages.com.au and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

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Ian Horswill

Journalist

Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, villages.com.au and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

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Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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Jill Donaldson

Physiotherapist

Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

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Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

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Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.