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The quality of care plays an integral role in the quality of life and outcomes for people using aged care in Australia. The quality of Australian Government-funded aged care is assessed against a set of quality standards by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC). As well as these standards, since 1 July 2019 residential aged care services must also participate in the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (QI Program).
In addition, the ACQSC undertakes consumer experience surveys of residents in residential aged care services, in conjunction with regulatory audits. This topic presents the most current data and analysis for the consumer experience surveys and Quality Indicator Program.
Experiences of people living in residential aged care
Consumers themselves have identified consumer experience in residential aged care as key information to support informed choice. Since 2017 the former Australian Aged Care Quality Agency and its successor, the ACQSC, have conducted consumer experience surveys of residents in residential aged care services, in conjunction with visits made for reaccreditation audits. Survey results for each service are published alongside the respective site audit report on the ACQSC website.
Substantial work has gone into identifying three dimensions of residential aged care that are of most interest to consumers:
- aspects of the care environment (social, physical, functional)
- organisational aspects of care provision
- respect for and autonomy of the consumer.
These dimensions have been used to develop a set of standardised questions for obtaining consumer feedback on the quality of the care received and the service provider delivering the care.
Consumer Experience Report – standard questions and response categories
Residents are asked:
Q1: Do staff treat you with respect?
Q2: Do you feel safe here?
Q3: Do staff meet your healthcare needs?
Q4: Do staff follow up with you raise things with them?
Q5: Do staff explain things to you?
Q6: Do you like the food here?
Response categories: Never / Some of the time / Most of the time / Always
Residents are asked whether they agreed with these statements:
Q7: If I’m feeling a bit sad or worried, there are staff here who I can talk to.
Q8: The staff know what they are doing.
Q9: This place is well run.
Q10: I am encouraged to do as much as possible for myself.
Response categories: Strongly agree / Disagree / Neutral / Agree / Strongly agree
This topic summarises the combined 2017–18 and 2018–19 results at a national level and, through analysis, seeks to identify factors associated with respondents’ choices. The full report Consumers' experience of residential aged care, Australia 2017–19 is available on the AIHW website.
Explore the national level results for the combined 2017–18 and 2018–19 surveys in the Explore consumer experience section.
Residential Aged Care Quality Indicators
Quality indicators measure aspects of service provision that contribute to the quality of care given by residential aged care services. Since 1 July 2019, Australian Government-subsidised residential aged care providers have been required, under the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (QI Program), to collect and report on three quality indicators:
- Pressure injuries
- Use of physical restraint
- Unplanned weight loss.
Latest results from the QI Program can be viewed on the Explore page Residential Aged Care Quality Indicators—April to June 2021
You can view previous releases of the Residential Quality Indicators here
You can view the Residential Aged Care Quality Indicators Annual Report 2020–21 here
. This report presents quality indicators that have been recompiled from more complete data than were available at the cut-off dates for quarterly data reporting.
The Residential Aged Care Quality Indicators Annual Report 2019–20 can be accessed here
. Note that AIHW plans to re-release the Annual Report 2019–20 using an updated methodology to calculate QI rates in early 2022. At the national level, the QI rates in the 2020–21 Annual Report are comparable to the rates published in the 2019–20 Annual Report. However, the QI rates reported by state and territory in the 2020–21 Annual Report are not comparable to the 2019–20 Annual Report and comparisons between the two should not be made.
Information about the compilation of Quality Indicators, including data quality, is available in the Technical notes for each quarter. In particular, it is important to note that the indicators are calculated by combining aggregate data supplied directly by aged care providers with aged care subsidy claims data about care recipient days for the quarter. The AIHW is still developing an understanding of factors that affect the quality of both the numerator and denominator for these indicator values.
Information about the QI Program is available on the Department of Health’s website
. The AIHW acknowledges the support of the Department of Health for its collation of QI Program data and publication of reports.