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Explore quality indicators

This page includes data available for 1 July to 30 September 2019. You can download data directly from the visualisations by clicking in the graph area and using the 'download' menu. 
On this page you can explore more information about quality indicators in residential aged care.
Quality indicators measure aspects of service provision that contribute to the quality of care given by residential aged care services. Since 1 July 2019, the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program requires residential aged care services to collect and report on 3 quality indicators:
  • Pressure injuries
  • Use of physical restraint
  • Unplanned weight loss.
Information on these indicators was submitted by almost 2,500 residential aged care services in the first quarter of collection (July–September 2019), around 90% of those who received Australian-Government subsidies for delivering care, services and accommodation. 
More information about the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program
(QI Program) is available on the Department of Health’s website.
 

Quality Indicator 1: Pressure Injuries

In accordance with the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program Manual 1.0, a pressure injury is a localised injury to the skin or underlying tissue due to pressure or friction. Pressure injuries can be classified into 6 stages of severity which relate to the depth of the wound:

  • Stage 1 pressure injuries: non-blanchable erythema of intact skin
  • Stage 2 pressure injuries: partial-thickness skin loss with exposed dermis
  • Stage 3 pressure injuries: full-thickness skin loss
  • Stage 4 pressure injuries: full-thickness loss of skin and tissue
  • Unstageable pressure injuries: obscured full-thickness skin and tissue loss
  • Suspected deep tissue injuries: persistent non-blanchable deep red, maroon or purple discolouration.
Table shows number of pressure injuries observed and number of recipients per 1,000 recipient days by pressure injury sub-indicators, from July to September 2019.

Quality Indicator 2: Use of physical restraint

In accordance with the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program Manual 1.0, physical restraint refers to any practice, device or action that restricts a care recipient’s ability to move freely or make decisions. Physical restraint does not include chemical restraints or prescribed medication. This indicator includes 2 measures:

  • Intent to restrain: observed incidences of intentional physical restraint of a person 
  • Physical restraint devices: observed physical restraint devices of certain kinds in use—bedrails, chairs with locked tables, seatbelts other than those used during active transport, safety vests, shackles and manacles.
Table shows number of occasions of use of physical restraints being observed and number of occasions per 1,000 recipient days by physical restraints sub-indicators, from July to September 2019.

Quality Indicator 3: Unplanned weight loss

In accordance with the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program Manual 1.0, weight loss is considered to be unplanned where there is no written strategy and ongoing record relating to planned weight loss for the care recipient. This indicator includes 2 measures:
  • Significant unplanned weight loss: loss of 3 or more kilograms over a 3-month period (the last measurement of the current quarter compared to the last measurement of the previous quarter).
  • Consecutive unplanned weight loss: loss of any amount every month over 3 consecutive months of the quarter.
Table shows number of recipients experiencing unplanned weight loss and number of recipients per 1,000 recipient days by unplanned weight loss sub-indicators, from July to September 2019.

Geographic variation

Disaggregation of quality indicators by state and territory and by remoteness categories for July to September 2019 were calculated from raw data with no risk adjustment.
Map visualisation shows number of occasions observed, or number of recipients per 1,000 recipient days by state and sub-indicator, by state, from July to September 2019.
Table shows number of occasions observed, or number of recipients per 1,000 recipient days by state and sub-indicator, by remoteness, from July to September 2019.
Data collection
All Australian-Government subsidised residential aged care services are required to inform each care recipient about the assessment and ask their permission to include their data in the QI Program. 

Pressure injuries
Aged care residents are assessed for the 3 stages of pressure injuries with a full-body assessment. Assessments are made on or around the same time and day in each quarter of the year. This can be done as part of the resident’s usual personal care. 

Use of physical restraint
The use of physical restraint is observed in the morning, afternoon and night on 3 different days each quarter, i.e. counts are aggregated across 9 occasions of observation during the quarter. Observations are not announced to staff or residents. For the count of specified physical restraint devices, the number in use is counted, whether the devices are being used to intentionally restrain a care recipient or not. 

Unplanned weight loss
Residents are weighed each month, in clothing of similar weight each time. Residential aged care services report the number of residents with significant unplanned weight loss since the last measurement, and the number of residents with significant weight loss recorded over the 3 consecutive months of the quarter. Data are not collected from residents who are absent (for example, in hospital), residents who are receiving end-of-life palliative care, or respite care residents.

More information
Detailed specifications for the quality indicators are set out in the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program Manual 1.0 (June 2019).

Information on the compilation of Quality Indicators for July to September 2019, including data quality, are available in the Technical notes.