Can the quality of dementia care be measured?

ADNeT Registry Academic Lead Prof Susannah Ahern has led a Delphi study to develop clinical quality indicators (CQI) to measure the quality of care for dementia and mild cognitive impairment.

The study – published online in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease[1] – assessed 33 indicators and confirmed a final set of 18. Seven of these quality indicators have been endorsed by the ADNeT Registry steering committee and will be used to benchmark and highlight variations in clinical practise at the time of diagnosis. They range from wait times for services, completion of basic assessment and investigations, and prescription of anti-dementia medications. These CQIs will be tested initially in memory clinics and inform the data collection processes for the ADNeT Registry.

Work published by the same group in May of this year outlined existing tools that can measure the quality of care from a consumer’s perspective, so-called “patient reported outcome measures”[2]. A small working party continues to develop tools that can reliably measure the quality and experience of care from both consumer and care partner perspectives. “Increasingly, healthcare providers are recognising that capturing outcomes that really matter to people are incredibly important in designing and delivering the best possible care, and ADNeT recognises how crucial this is. We are determined to ensure that we collect information on outcomes that truly matter to people,” says ADNeT Registry Clinical Quality co-chair Dr Stephanie Ward.

“A Dementia Clinical Quality Registry is fundamental to improving the quality and consistency of care for people with dementia and mild cognitive impairment. Having the right set of indicators to measure is what makes this possible”, said Dr Ward.

For more information, visit https://www.australiandementianetwork.org.au/clinical-quality-registry/ or contact the ADNeT Registry Program Manager on email ADNeT.Registry@monash.edu or phone 1800 314 421.

[1]  J Alzheimer’s Disease 2020;75(3):923-936. doi: 10.3233/JAD-191044. Available at  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32390616/

[2] 2020 May 5;gnz179. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnz179. Online ahead of print. Available at https://academic.oup.com/gerontologist/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/geront/gnz179/5829888?redirectedFrom=PDF.