Information management for aged care provision in Australia: development of an aged care minimum dataset and strategies to improve quality and continuity of care Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Efficient information systems support the provision of multi-disciplinary aged care and a variety of organisational purposes, including quality, funding, communication and continuity of care. Agreed minimum data sets enable accurate communication across multiple care settings. However, in aged care multiple and poorly integrated data collection frameworks are commonly used for client assessment, government reporting and funding purposes.To determine key information needs in aged care settings to improve information quality, information transfer, safety, quality and continuity of care to meet the complex needs of aged care clients.Modified Delphi methods involving five stages were employed by one aged care provider in Victoria, Australia, to establish stakeholder consensus for a derived minimum data set and address barriers to data quality.Eleven different aged care programs were identified; with five related data dictionaries, three minimum data sets, five program standards or quality frameworks. The remaining data collection frameworks related to diseases classification, funding, service activity reporting, and statistical standards and classifications. A total of 170 different data items collected across seven internal information systems were consolidated to a derived set of 60 core data items and aligned with nationally consistent data collection frameworks. Barriers to data quality related to inconsistencies in data items, staff knowledge, workflow, system access and configuration.The development an internal aged care minimum data set highlighted the critical role of primary data quality in the upstream and downstream use of client information; and presents a platform to build national consistency across the sector.

publication date

  • 2016