Derivation and validation of the Personal Support Algorithm: an evidence-based framework to inform allocation of personal support services in home and community care

TitleDerivation and validation of the Personal Support Algorithm: an evidence-based framework to inform allocation of personal support services in home and community care
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsSinn C.LJ, Jones A., McMullan J.L, Ackerman N., Curtin-Telegdi N., Eckel L., Hirdes J.P
JournalBMC health services research
Volume17
Issue1
Pagination775
Keywords*algorithm, *organization and management, *procedures, community care, home care, Human, Ontario, pilot study, Resource Allocation, validation study
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Personal support services enable many individuals to stay in their homes, but there are no standard ways to classify need for functional support in home and community care settings. The goal of this project was to develop an evidence-based clinical tool to inform service planning while allowing for flexibility in care coordinator judgment in response to patient and family circumstances., METHODS: The sample included 128,169 Ontario home care patients assessed in 2013 and 25,800 Ontario community support clients assessed between 2014 and 2016. Independent variables were drawn from the Resident Assessment Instrument-Home Care and interRAI Community Health Assessment that are standardised, comprehensive, and fully compatible clinical assessments. Clinical expertise and regression analyses identified candidate variables that were entered into decision tree models. The primary dependent variable was the weekly hours of personal support calculated based on the record of billed services., RESULTS: The Personal Support Algorithm classified need for personal support into six groups with a 32-fold difference in average billed hours of personal support services between the highest and lowest group. The algorithm explained 30.8% of the variability in billed personal support services. Care coordinators and managers reported that the guidelines based on the algorithm classification were consistent with their clinical judgment and current practice., CONCLUSIONS: The Personal Support Algorithm provides a structured yet flexible decision-support framework that may facilitate a more transparent and equitable approach to the allocation of personal support services.

DOI10.1186/s12913-017-2737-7
Short TitleBMC health services research