Did you know?

The National Aged Care Quality Indicator Program began on the 1st of January 2016.

It was initially a voluntary program for Commonwealth subsidised residential Aged Care services.

As of July 1st 2019 this program became mandatory.

Commonwealth subsided residential Aged Care homes must collect and provide data on the clinical indicators to the Department of Health.

This can be done in three different ways:

  • By joining the National Aged Care Quality Indicator Program
  • Using a commercial bench-marking system
  • Or, using an in-house system


The Quality Indicators

There are three clinical Quality Indicators that Aged Care services must now report on.

These are:

  • Pressure Injuries
  • The use of Physical Restraints or Restrictive Practices
  • Unplanned weight loss


Measurement Method and Frequency

Measuring a Quality Indicator is done by counting how often an event occurs, over a period of time within each residential facility.

The rates for each indicator are calculated at individual facility level, and an average is calculated at a national level.

Residential facilities are required to collect and submit data to the Australian Government Department of Health on a quarterly basis.

The first quarter ran from the 1st of July 2019 – the 30th September 2019, subsequent quarters run thereafter.

The indicator data will be collated and published on the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website.

The government has reported that, in time, national benchmarks will be developed.


Indicator One: Pressure Injuries

As per the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel referenced in the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (Manual 1), a pressure injury is defined as a localised injury to the skin or underlying tissue, usually over a bony prominence as a result of pressure or pressure in combination with shear.

Pressure Injuries are classified into six stages: Stage one, Stage two, Stage three, Stage four, Unstageable and Suspected Deep Tissue Injury.

It is recommended that data is collected by conducting a full body assessment of each consumer in your residential care service each quarter.

This can be done in two ways:

  • Assess each consumer over a period of up to 14 days
  • Decide on an assessment date in each quarter and carry out the assessment on all consumers on this day

For example; on the 1st of the 1st month in the quarter the consumer is assessed as part of their regular care routine.

Each consumer must be assessed by two staff members. It is important that you include consumer’s receiving respite, end of life palliative care and ones that are away on leave.


Indicator Two: use of Physical Restraints or Restrictive Practices

Physical Restrictive Practice or Restraints are defined as ‘the intentional restriction of a resident’s voluntary movement or behaviour by the use of a device, or removal of mobility aids, or physical force’.

Reporting on this indicator involves taking two measurements:

  • Measure One: intent to restrain – the restriction of a consumer’s voluntary movement or behaviour 
  • Measure Two: physical restrictive devices – counting all devices in use at the time of assessment 

For this indicator, determine three days in the quarter across which the audit is to be conducted. 

On that day, for each consumer, conduct an assessment over each shift (AM, PM and night). 

Ensure that physical restraint devices which are in use due to consumer request are counted under measure two. 

Secure areas and perimeter alarms are to be excluded from measurements.


Indicator Three: Unplanned Weight Loss 

Reporting on this indicator also requires taking two measurements.

Measure One: significant unplanned weight loss.

If over the three month period, a consumer shows unplanned weight loss equal to or greater than 3kgs, record this change.

This result is determined by comparing the last weight this quarter with the last weight last quarter.  

Measure Two: consecutive unplanned weight loss. 

If a consumer shows an unplanned weight loss of any amount over the three consecutive months of the quarter, record this. 

This can only be determined if the consumer is weighed on all three occasions. 

This measurement excludes consumers in respite, receiving palliative care or absent at any time during the quarter. 


AutumnCare Charts 

AutumnCare has created a Global Physical Restrictive Practice Chart, a Global Pressure Injury Chart, and an audit that is derived using existing data as collected using AutumnCare’s Weight Chart. 

For more information on our Quality Indicator Charts please contact AutumnCare and speak to one of our staff members.

Phone 1800 422 472 or email info@autumn.care to find out more.