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Australas J Ageing. 2011 Jun;30(2):63-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-6612.2010.00447.x. Epub 2010 Jul 22.

Clinical outcomes in residential care: setting benchmarks for quality.

Author information

1
Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia. m2.oreilly@qut.edu.au

Abstract

AIM:

Australian residential aged care does not have a system of quality assessment related to clinical outcomes, or comprehensive quality benchmarking. The Residential Care Quality Assessment was developed to fill this gap; and this paper discusses the process by which preliminary benchmarks representing high and low quality were developed for it.

METHODS:

Data were collected from all residents (n = 498) of nine facilities. Numerator-denominator analysis of clinical outcomes occurred at a facility-level, with rank-ordered results circulated to an expert panel. The panel identified threshold scores to indicate excellent and questionable care quality, and refined these through Delphi process.

RESULTS:

Clinical outcomes varied both within and between facilities; agreed thresholds for excellent and poor outcomes were finalised after three Delphi rounds.

CONCLUSION:

Use of the Residential Care Quality Assessment provides a concrete means of monitoring care quality and allows benchmarking across facilities; its regular use could contribute to improved care outcomes within residential aged care in Australia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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