Home support providers now have access to a suite of tools to help them measure the impact of their wellness and reablement service model.
Using tools to measure client and carer outcomes improves goal setting and encourages more meaningful conversations with service users, a pilot project evaluating the active service model in Victoria has found.
The Victorian government project undertaken by La Trobe University piloted a range of measurement tools with 31 Home and Community Care (HACC) services and 463 clients and 124 carers.
The project team adapted an outcomes framework developed in Scotland for the Australian context, which focused on client experience, skills and capacity building and quality of life.
The tools included a client experience survey, questionnaires on functional capacity and quality of life (conducted at initial assessment and review) and a client goal attainment reporting tool.
A key finding of the project was the positive impact of the measurement tools on staff practice, project member Kath Paine told the Active Ageing Conference 2017.
She said a focus on measuring outcomes encouraged a move away from a service-centric approach to a client-focused one.
“In getting staff to think about outcomes, it gave them a different perspective on the way they interacted with clients,” said Ms Paine.
“It changed their perceptions of what clients and carers could do, improved goal-oriented care planning and helped clinically-based staff to go beyond thinking about clinical health outcomes,” she told the conference hosted by Community Care Review and Australian Ageing Agenda.
“We don’t want the focus to be on what the service can do for the client or carer, but to work with clients and carers to find out what is important to them and how the service can support their independence, choice and control.”
The pilot project identified key impacts of the tools on staff practice including:
- supports person-centred care
- overcomes staff negative perceptions of what older people can do
- encourages more meaningful conversations with clients
- improves goal setting
- goes beyond clinical outcomes for goal setting.
Staff also found the outcomes measurement tools to be easy to use and acceptable as part of their practice.
Ms Paine, who is now principal advisor on wellness and reablement at Bolton Clarke, is planning to trial the tools in some of the organisation’s sites across Australia.
She said undertaking goal setting and goal-directed care plans required staff training to develop new skills and for additional time to be built into business processes to allow staff to undertake this work with clients.
Professor Yvonne Wells from La Trobe University said the study found the tools were a valid method of measuring change in clients and carers. She said service providers should choose tools that were most relevant to their service context.
The results showed the HACC services were having a positive impact on skills and capacity building outcomes, with clients reporting a 30 per cent increase in their ability to carry out tasks of daily living.
The Victorian health department is developing a user guide to support providers to embed the tools in their services.