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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

League tables on best and worst nursing homes must be made public: SA Senator

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South Australian senator Stirling Griff will lobby the Federal Government to make public league tables which name Australia’s best and worst performing aged-care providers.

According to the Adelaide Advertiser, the outspoken crossbench senator will back calls to make the new aged-care league tables available to the public.

The rating system, called the Outcome Monitoring System (OMS) was designed by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), the state’s first independent flagship health and medical research institute, and combines 12 key measures to show how every nursing home is performing, and will also soon include every home-care provider.

The system rates performance based on indicators including weight loss, pressure sores, falls, fractures, use of sedatives, opioid and antipsychotic drugs, pain management and premature mortality.

ROSA Director and THRF Mid-Career Fellow, Associate Professor Maria Inacio, said on the SAHMRI website, that the registry’s OMS will promote transparency and accountability throughout the industry.

“The indicators have been chosen based on what’s being used in other countries and factors found to be associated with poor health and increased risk of harm,” she said.

“Additionally, the indicators can be examined using routinely collected data that’s available from State and Commonwealth Governments, eliminating the burden of collecting new information from aged care residents or service providers.”

Griff, a member of the Centre Alliance party, said the rating system will be invaluable right across the sector.

“League tables lift everyone’s game and provide insights that enable the public to make informed choices,” he told The Advertiser.

“It is a must that these are made publicly available.”

Griff said SAHMRI had done “outstanding work” with its Registry of Senior Australians (ROSA) team, which conducted research on public reporting for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. 

ROSA’s OMS was presented to the royal commission in the hope that it could help inform recommendations for future policy changes regarding quality and safety monitoring within the sector.

Federal Opposition health and ageing spokesman Mark Butler is also a fan of the systyem.

“Transparency and clear information about aged-care facilities is a crucial step in fixing Scott Morrison’s aged-care neglect,” he told The Advertiser.

He said choosing a provider or nursing home was “one of the hardest decisions a family has to make” and they should have as much information as possible.

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