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National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program

The National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (QI Program) became compulsory on 1 July 2019.

It is a mandatory program for Commonwealth subsidised residential aged care services, made so under the 2019 Federal Budget Measure More Choices for a Longer Life – Mandatory National Quality Indicators.

About the program

The National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (QI Program) became compulsory on 1 July 2019.

It is a mandatory program for Commonwealth subsidised residential aged care services, made so under the 2019 Federal Budget Measure More Choices for a Longer Life – Mandatory National Quality Indicators.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) publish quarterly quality indicator data at a national, state and territory level on the GEN Aged Care Data website.

The QI Program aims to support providers to measure and monitor their performance, support continuous quality improvement and contribute to improved outcomes for consumers.

The QI Program will, over time, give consumers transparent information about quality in aged care to assist them in making more informed decisions about their aged care.

The Productivity Commission and Australian National Audit Office recommended the development of a new quality assurance framework and quality indicators, with an increased focus on driving quality outcomes.

Further reading

Further reviews and reports have supported a mandatory and expanded QI Program, including:  Carnell-Paterson report, Council of the Ageing (COTA) report Measuring Quality and Consumer choice in Aged Care, and House of Representatives report on the Inquiry into quality of care in residential aged care facilities in Australia.

What are the quality indicators

  • pressure injuries
  • use of physical restraint
  • unplanned weight loss.

From 1 July 2021, services will also report on:

  • falls and major injury
  • medication management.

Why is the program important?

The QI Program is important because it measures aspects of quality of care which may affect residential consumers’ health and wellbeing.

The program helps:

  • aged care service providers to measure, monitor, compare and improve the quality of their services. They can then identify trends in their performance over time and compare themselves against national averages. This will lead to an even better quality of care and quality of life for consumers
  • provide nationally comparable quality indicator data across residential care services in Australia
  • create an evidence base to make quality improvement initiatives simpler

Over time, the program will enhance how aged care consumers understand quality in residential care services because they can access better information.

QI Program transition to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

From 1 January 2020 the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (the Commission) became responsible for ensuring and enforcing aged care providers’ compliance with their responsibilities. Management of certain aspects of the QI Program transitioned to the Commission on 1 October 2020.

The Department of Health looks after the QI Program policy, design and the My Aged Care platform.

The Commission’s role includes:

  • educating and communicating with providers about the QI Program
  • analysing and reporting on quality indicator data in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)
  • monitoring compliance with the QI Program
  • integrating QI Program data more broadly into the Commission’s regulatory activities.

The Department of Health’s role includes:

The policy functions of the QI Program were retained by the Department including:

  • development and implementation of new and revised QIs
  • development of communication and guidance materials for new quality indicators
  • operation and enhancement of the My Aged Care platform
  • legislative changes to the Accountability Principles 2014 and the Records Principles 2014.Find out more about the quality indicators on the Department of Health’s website here.

Authority

The following principles under the Aged Care Act 1997 were amended to make the QI Program mandatory: 

Providers continue to send reports to the Secretary of the Department of Health. The Department of Health discloses QI Program data to the Commission under section 86-3(1)(ba) of the Aged Care Act 1997. This allows the Commission to perform its functions under the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018.  

Submitting data

Providers continue to submit their data through the Department of Health’s
My Aged Care service provider portal. Where a commercial benchmarking company continues to submit the data on behalf of a service, the provider remains responsible for making sure the data is both accurate and submitted by the required dates.

National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program Manual

Find the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program Manual (the Manual) on the Department of Health’s website here.

The Manual will be updated to reflect updates and expansion to the QI Program which come into effect from 1 July 2021, including the introduction of new quality indicators:

  • falls and major injury
  • medication management.

The Manual includes the definitions for each quality indicator and explains how to collect and submit quality indicator data. This can be located here.

Additional Resources

Find additional resources about the QI Program below on the Department of Health’s website:

  • National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program Manual
  • National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program quick reference guides
  • Webinar on Quality Indicators
  • Frequently Asked Questions for Residential Aged Care Providers
  • Fact Sheet for Clinical and Care Teams
  • Fact Sheet for GPs
  • Fact Sheet for Board Directors and Executives

Contact

Government-subsidised aged care service providers and assessors can use the Department of Health’s helpline to get assistance with the provider and assessor portals and the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program.

Call from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday or 10am to 2pm Saturday

Phone: 1800 836 799

Changed
Thursday, 3 December 2020 - 10:17am