Testing the ACCOM: Research and Results
Ageing Well at Home: Measuring the Impact of Community Care for Older People, is a research project funded by the Australian Research Council. The aim of the research project is to develop, test and validate the 24 Australian Community Care Outcomes Measure (ACCOM) an outcome measurement tool for use in the community aged care sector. This paper will present and discuss the results of the field testing of the ACCOM that occurred between late 2015 and mid-2016. The project involved four Home Care Package providers in NSW, involving 43 case managers. One of the key innovative features of the ACCOM is that it collects both consumer 'self' rated and case manager rated outcome measures. Any contrast between these highlight potential areas in the care plan that may require a review. Initial results show a high level of agreement between consumer and case manager ratings across the eight domains of the ACCOM. The inclusion of functional, health and demographic data in the ACCOM enables a sophisticated analysis of the interrelationship between these factors and outcomes in the context of community care. The ACCOM data also enables service providers to demonstrate to potential consumers that they have a robust and transparent mechanism for engaging consumers in both directing care planning and reviewing care outcomes. The potential for further research into the application of the ACCOM with special needs groups and the development of a carer aspect to the ACCOM will be discussed. Based on lessons learnt from this trial and from established national health outcome centres at the Australian Health Services Research Institute at the University of Wollongong, a long term vision for the establishment of a National Outcome Centre for Community Care will be proposed.