Development of quality indicators for monitoring outcomes of frail elderly hospitalised in acute care health settings: study protocol

TitleDevelopment of quality indicators for monitoring outcomes of frail elderly hospitalised in acute care health settings: study protocol
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBrand C.A, Martin-Khan M., Wright O., Jones R.N, Morris J.N, Travers C.M, Tropea J., Gray L.C
JournalBMC Health Serv Res
Type of ArticleResearch Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
ISBN Number1472-6963 (Electronic)<br/>1472-6963 (Linking)
Accession Number22014061
Keywords*Frail Elderly, *Hospitalization, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Australia, Critical Care/*standards, Female, Health Services for the Aged/*standards, Health Services Research, Humans, Male, Prospective Studies, Quality Assurance, Health Care/*organization & administration, Research Design, Treatment Outcome

BACKGROUND: Frail older people admitted to acute care hospitals are at risk of a range of adverse outcomes, including geriatric syndromes, although targeted care strategies can improve health outcomes for these patients. It is therefore important to assess inter-hospital variation in performance in order to plan and resource improvement programs. Clinical quality outcome indicators provide a mechanism for identifying variation in performance over time and between hospitals, however to date there has been no routine use of such indicators in acute care settings. A barrier to using quality indicators is lack of access to routinely collected clinical data. The interRAI Acute Care (AC) assessment system supports comprehensive geriatric assessment of older people within routine daily practice in hospital and includes process and outcome data pertaining to geriatric syndromes. This paper reports the study protocol for the development of aged care quality indicators for acute care hospitals. METHODS/DESIGN: The study will be conducted in three phases: 1. Development of a preliminary inclusive set of quality indicators set based on a literature review and expert panel consultation, 2. A prospective field study including recruitment of 480 patients aged 70 years or older across 9 Australian hospitals. Each patient will be assessed on admission and discharge using the interRAI AC, and will undergo daily monitoring to observe outcomes. Medical records will be independently audited, and 3. Analysis and compilation of a definitive quality indicator set, including two anonymous voting rounds for quality indicator inclusion by the expert panel. DISCUSSION: The approach to quality indicators proposed in this protocol has four distinct advantages over previous efforts: the quality indicators focus on outcomes; they can be collected as part of a routinely applied clinical information and decision support system; the clinical data will be robust and will contribute to better understanding variations in hospital care of older patients; The quality indicators will have international relevance as they will be built on the interRAI assessment instrument, an internationally recognised clinical system.




Alternate JournalBMC Health Serv Res