A model and proposed items for the new assessment system for aged care
This paper proposes a national model for assessment in aged care – Commonwealth Aged Care Assessment. It builds on three background papers that set out a framework, examined overlaps at the proposed three levels of assessment and proposed useful triggers and prompts to assist information flow and referral across programs and to build a continuous record. The model has been modified with feedback from the Department of Health and Ageing and its Expert Clinical Reference Group for this project. It outlines the components of a recommended national assessment system. The national assessment system needs to include components to ensure that assessment information contributes substantially to the development of the sector over time including a proposed data sharing model, a data repository, linkages to local systems and assessment role delineation (with associated training materials linked to assessor competencies). Assessor competencies and credentialing will be important components of a national assessment system as these enable service providers to trust the quality of the assessments that they receive. The initial contact is the start of an assessment system that captures the person’s needs and goals of care and other important characteristics over the full period that they require services. Needs assessment in aged care should be considered as a continuous or multi-tiered and multi-staged process, beginning with an initial assessment when a client requests an aged care service. It assists the referral of people to appropriate services and other levels of assessment. The information gathered by service providers and assessors from people should build on the initial collection of information and form an important source of data.