New tool to measure quality of aged care presented at Senate hearing

Craig Whitehood interviewed on channel 9

On 21 November CDPC researchers presented an important rating tool developed to measure the quality of aged care to a Senate Enquiry hearing into the Effectiveness of the Aged Care Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework.

The Consumer Choice Index – 6 Dimension (CCI-6D) instrument was developed by the 'Models of Residential Care for Older People with Cognitive Decline' research team led by Professor Maria Crotty.

Associate Professor Whitehead, also on the research team, said the senators were very interested in the possibility of being able to measure quality.

“The tragedy of Oakden nursing home is a minor example of a much broader problem, we do need the aged care sector to be able to measure what they do.

“This instrument provides the opportunity for the aged care sector to start measuring themselves and if needs be even for relatives to rate their experiences. Ultimately we’d like to see this tool used nationally so facilities can compare themselves,” Associate Professor Craig Whitehead said.

Researcher Dr Suzanne Dyer said it is an important tool for aged care facilities to be able to get a quantitative measure of how their quality of care is rated by consumers and monitor whether changes in the type of care they provide are actually valued by consumers.

To develop the tool, qualitative interviews were conducted with residents of aged care homes, including people with dementia and their family members to ascertain what characteristics of residential aged care are important to them for good quality care. The tool was validated and shown to be associated with quality of life for more than 500 residents.

“The CCI-6D measures six key characteristics of quality care, which were derived from these interviews. The CCI-6D can be used by aged care organisations to properly evaluate the success of innovations to improve care from their consumers’ perspectives.

“They rate how much time the staff spend with patients, how homelike the facility is, how much access to outside spaces there is and how flexible things like meal and shower times are and does the facility offer activities that are meaningful.

“Historically quality measurements have focussed on clinical measures. There is an international move to rate aged care from with the point of view of the residents and their family members providing input on quality of care,” Dr Dyer said.

The tool fills a gap where in the mixed model delivery of aged care providers there is little publicly available data for consumer choice and for providers to compare their services with others.

Channel 9 Interview with A/Prof Whitehead
CCI_6D_User_Guide (PDF 2MB)
CCI_6D_Showcards (PDF 160KB)
Consumer Choice Summary – Consumer (PDF 517KB)
Consumer Choice Summary – Industry (PDF 1MB)