Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

Development of a systematic approach to assessing quality within Australian residential aged care facilities: the Clinical Care Indicators Tool

Mary Courtney, Maria T O'Reilly, Helen Edwards and Stacey Hassall

Australian Health Review 31(4) 582 - 591
Published: 2007


Recent years have seen the introduction of formalised accreditation processes in both community and residential aged care, but these only partially address quality assessment within this sector. Residential aged care in Australia does not yet have a standardised system of resident assessment related to clinical, rather than administrative, outcomes. This paper describes the development of a quality assessment tool aimed at addressing this gap. Utilising previous research and the results of nominal groups with experts in the field, the 21-item Clinical Care Indicators (CCI) Tool for residential aged care was developed and trialled nationally. The CCI Tool was found to be simple to use and an effective means of collecting data on the state of resident health and care, with potential benefits for resident care planning and continuous quality improvement within facilities and organisations. The CCI Tool was further refined through a small intervention study to assess its utility as a quality improvement instrument and to investigate its relationship with resident quality of life. The current version covers 23 clinical indicators, takes about 30 minutes to complete and is viewed favourably by nursing staff who use it. Current work focuses on psychometric analysis and benchmarking, which should enable the CCI Tool to make a positive contribution to the measurement of quality in aged care in Australia.

© AHHA 2007

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