Using routine aged care data to inform better quality care

Using routine aged care data to inform better quality care 544

A guest blog post by Karla Seaman, Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University, Sydney

There is huge potential in aged care to enhance the usability and accessibility of routinely collected aged care provider data. Routinely collected data refers to the information collected electronically within aged care information systems for day-to-day care purposes. Examples of this information include staff rostering, medication administration, care plans and recording of incidents (such as a fall and pressure injuries).

Our recent article highlights the current strengths and future directions of routinely collected aged care data. The data have the ability to transform care from reactive to proactive using real-time presentation of information. An example of using data to support care outcomes is the real-time end of life dashboard developed by the ELDAC (End-of-Life Directions for Aged Care) Project. Additionally, there are real-time predictive analytics dashboards currently under development, including those designed to assist in predicting falls and early detection of health deterioration.

The real-time predictive dashboard we are currently developing in partnership with Anglicare has a focus on falls and quality of life. Incorporating and creating a balance between clinical care with social wellbeing is important with all aged care focused work. To ensure that the dashboard is meaningful and influences care, the dashboard is being co-designed and piloted with staff, aged care clients and residents, informal caregivers and general practitioners. It is anticipated that the dashboard developed will also be used by other aged care providers outside the study. This project is funded through the National Health and Medical Research Partnership Project scheme (1170898).

Our team is commencing a project ‘A National Aged Care Medication Roundtable - Translating aged care data into action to improve quality of care through collaboration and co-design’ in partnership with Anglicare, BaptistCare and Scalabrini and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Here we’ll be using routinely collected data on medication administration to improve medication quality and safety across aged care to inform aged care practice and policy including the newly introduced medication national aged care quality indicators.

This increased access and use of routinely collected aged care data will play an important role in driving improvements in the quality of aged care, the health outcomes of older adults, and enriching wellbeing. Ensuring an enhanced information technology infrastructure in aged care is vital to supporting aged care service reforms to deliver better care and outcomes.


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Karla Seaman, Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research