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The work of AACS

AACS has completed a number of major consultancy assignments for the Australian Commonwealth and State Governments over many years.

Currently, AACS is continuing to undertake health care evaluations in both the aged and community care sectors.

At AACS, staff are also encouraged to update their expertise and to publish their knowledge in local and international scientific journals.  For more information on AACS please go to the company website: www.AgedCareSolutions.com.

Overview of AACS Projects

Client                          Productivity Commission
Requirement              A report into “New Aged Care Model Options” for inclusion into the (Caring for Older Australians Report)
Completion date        January 2011

There were many shared principles stated in the various submissions to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry Caring for Older Australians’. The purpose of the AACS report is to describe an aged care model that will accommodate many of the principles in a new way forward that places the client at the centre of the model and further improves the operation of the overall system that is designed to support older Australians. 
The suggested model reflects the principles in a practical and achievable way and is demonstrated and described in the suggested approaches for the provision of information, assessment, support and care for older Australians.  The delivery of a new way forward will not only require a practical assessment and classification system but a re-configuring of the aged care programs moving from the current inflexible ‘care package’ approach where support service availability types and amounts are partitioned in a way that does not necessarily reflect the actual care need supports required for an individual. The new model reflects an approach where any required service (based on assessed care need) is available with the aged care classification the person achieves.  The only restriction within the classification levels and special supplements (e.g. dementia low vs. high) is the amount of service (e.g. cost) that can be provided based on the individuals assessed care needs.  This approach is more appropriate if we believe it is important to provide a fit between a person’s care needs and supports the aged care program can provide.  This new model will also provide for greater consumer choice with selection of the available service providers and level and type of assistance.
The report is available on the Productivity Commissions website (http://www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/aged-care/draft - Appendix B)

 

Client                          Commonwealth Department of Health & Ageing
Requirement              Project on the Nationally Consistent Assessment Process and Software System for community care
Duration                     4 Years
Completion date        June 2011

Due for finalisation is a major national project to determine a Nationally Consistent Assessment Process for community care. This focussed on the development of a community care assessment model covering the care recipient and carers and led to the development of the CCASS software application. The development initially involved the conceptualisation and design of a new national assessment model for community care. The process involved:

  • Consultations with all levels of stakeholders (nationally, state and site).
  • Utilised local and international research to guide the development. 
  • Defined a nationally agreed set of data items,
  • Defined the algorithms designed to provide a clinical decision making support pathway,
  • Incorporated an automated referral system linking national and state based data systems,
  • An evaluation and analysis system to monitor the outcomes of the new approach. 
  • Developed this researched approach into a software application (CCASS) that will form the basis of a new nationally accepted community care assessment system.
  • Undertook a continuous improvement approach to refining and enhancing the application.

 

Client                          Commonwealth Department of Veteran Affairs
Requirement              Project on the Nationally Consistent Assessment Process and Software System for community care
Duration                     9 Months
Completion date        June 2009

Development of the new Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Home Care Assessment Tool and Documentation (2010)
AACS developed the new Department of Veterans Affairs National Assessment Tool and Algorithms. This was a major national project that required expertise in assessment methodology, assessment tool development, an understanding the requirements and skill base of staff undertaking the assessments and finally an approach that would dovetail in with the latest national health assessment models.  The AACS developments were then subsequently converted into an IT system currently being implemented by the Department of Veterans Affairs (December 2010).

The enhanced Veterans’ Home Care (VHC) Assessment Instrument developed by Applied Aged Care Solutions (AACS) provides a comprehensive broad needs assessment system.  Feedback from VHC assessors during workshops with their agencies, and best practice in community care assessment provided support for such an approach. A draft version was trialled by VHC sites and the feedback was used to develop the final recommended version.

The enhanced VHC Assessment Instrument was primarily designed to determine an eligible Veteran’s need for VHC services, while having the capacity to determine when a referral to another, more appropriate, service(s) should be made.  For example  (i) to the Aged Care Assessment Program (for assessment for Community Aged Care packages and Extended Aged Care in the Home packages), (ii) to the Home and Community Care (HACC) program for HACC service or (iii) to other DVA contracted services, such as nursing care.  

The enhanced VHC Assessment Instrument provides a structured and rigorous approach for community based assessment of the care needs of veterans and their carers. 

 

Client                          Commonwealth Department of Health & Ageing
Requirement              National Dementia Initiative Evaluation
Duration                     3 Years
Completion date        2010

 

AACS was a major partner in the recently completed Dementia Initiative National Evaluation. A consortium comprising of La Trobe University, Applied Aged Care Solutions, Melbourne University and Access Economics (LAMA), conducted an independent evaluation of the Dementia Initiative between 2007 and 2010.

The National Evaluation assessed the performance of programs under the Dementia Initiative and the Dementia Initiative as a whole. The Evaluation examined the program’s appropriateness, effectiveness, efficiency, quality, and accessibility, impact on collaboration, sustainability and outcomes.

The evaluation established that the Dementia Initiative has made a substantial contribution to support people living with dementia and their carers, that early successes of the Initiative could be built on and consolidated through lessons learnt from the Initiative.

The report was recently released on the 23 September 2010, by the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, the Hon Mark Butler MP.

An overview and summary of the report are available on the DoHA website (http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/ageing-dementia-evaluation

Other AACS Projects

1. Aged Care Facility and Dementia Care Practice Reviews

  • AACS is evaluating a major aged care initiative of Anglican Retirement Villages in Sydney. The evaluation involves a model encompassing assessment of management change, quality of care improvement, new staffing models and education and training. AACS has developed a package of assessments that are essential for work in this area:

    • Facility reviews of staffing, care models and design for dementia
    • Clinical & Care indicator development
    • Dementia Care Activity Mapping

    2. Evaluations: Health and Aged Care

    • National review of the needs of people with dementia and challenging behaviour
    • Australian Health Minister’s Advisory Committee research on the Interface of Aged Care and Acute Care in Australia

    3. Community Care Reviews

    • Development of a HACC relative resource equity formula (RREF) using population, social  and geographic indicators for the Victorian Government
      Community Care Assessment and Classification System development
    • Review of the HACC Dependency Scale
    • Senior Citizens program review 

    4. Developing Data Strategies, Analysis Systems and Client Management Software

    • Developed a data strategy to assess clinical outcomes for the South Australian Behaviour Advisory Service.
    • Provides and manages the client database system (Community Support Client Manager) used by the National Alzheimer’s Associations in Australia.  This also includes data and statistical analysis services for Alzheimer’s Australia and the Commonwealth Government

    5. Conceptual Design, Technical Specifications for Aged Care Web Sites

    AACS was responsible for the conceptualisation and development of the Dementia and Alzheimer’s Association Tasmania web site project

    6. Internet Surveys using New Technology Information Collection Systems

    In today's Information Age, new methods of data collection should be considered when information or feedback from satisfaction is required – online surveys are the answer.  Questionnaire survey information and research project data are ideally suited to Online Surveys.  An effective online survey takes advantage of the interactive nature of the web to provide an efficient solution.  Anything that can be done with pencil and paper can be done online only better. 

    7. Development of the Safe Return Home internet data system

    AACS has developed the first Australian internet system to store vital identification information for people with dementia and the contact details of carers.  The internet database is accessed by Police through a secure connection. This system is being introduced around Australia after being firstly approved by the Tasmania Police Service. The web site has more details on AACS activities.www.AgedCareSolutions.com