Improving the quality, safety and care of older Queenslanders

The Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services identified improved care for older Queenslanders as a priority area for Queensland Health in an August 2019 media release.

Collaboration with consumers, clinicians and key stakeholders expanded on this theme to include ‘patient choice of care settings’ and ‘increase the quality and safety of care’ for older Queenslanders. The improved care is supported by the Healthy ageing: A strategy for older Queenslanders, which focusses on helping Queenslanders to stay well in the community, to receive care closer to home and promoting seamless connection to health services.

Older Person models of care are being implemented at 25 sites across Queensland, including 16 in the southeast corner and Cairns, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Mackay, Mount Isa, Townsville, Maryborough, Hervey Bay and Bundaberg.

The key priority areas identified to enhance the care provided to older persons are:

To support improved identification of frail older persons to optimise care, the Frail Older Persons Collaborative (comprised of: consumers, general practitioners, geriatricians, emergency and general physicians and representatives from RACFs, non-government organisations, statewide clinical networks, nursing, allied health and the department of health), have defined frailty as a state of increased vulnerability, associated with but distinct from increasing age and multi-morbidity, resulting in disproportionate adverse health outcomes following a stressor, which has been endorsed for use across Queensland Health.

Clinical Frailty Scale

Across Queensland, the Clinical Frailty Scale, developed by Kenneth Rockwood, has been endorsed as the agreed standard frailty screening tool.

Clinical Frailty Scale

The RaSS model provides care in partnership with general practitioners and RACFs to improve patient choice of care setting and the quality and safety of care provided across the care continuum.

The following tools have been developed to help improve quality of acute healthcare for residents of aged care facilities.

Implementation toolkit for RACF support service
This toolkit will assist facilities in implementing the RaSS.

Management of acute care needs of RACF residents
This suite of collaborative pathways for general practitioners and registered nurses are intended as clinical support tools for management of acutely unwell residents living in aged care facilities.

Brochures promoting the goals and benefits of RaSS

Geriatric Emergency Department Intervention (GEDI)

The GEDI model provides specialist and targeted care for older persons attending the Emergency Department (ED), by front-loading frailty assessments, prioritising care needs and fast-tracking frail older persons through the ED.

The following tools have been developed to improve targeted assessment of frail older persons to identify and meet care needs.

GEDI Tool kit
The GEDI toolkit will assist facilities in implementing the GEDI.

Brochures promoting the goals and benefits of GEDI

Care of the older person in emergency
This module contains four units encompassing specialised nursing considerations for care of the older person in the emergency department

To improve the patient journey, Queensland Health is implementing the Eat Walk Engage (EWE) program at a number of hospitals across Queensland.

EWE is a multi-disciplinary program to improve care and outcomes for older inpatients for preventing delirium and promoting functional recovery.

The program improves staff skills and knowledge in care of older people, improves care processes (mobility, mealtime care, and cognitive engagement), and can reduce length of stay and increase discharge home.

EWE expands the reach of key geriatric principles beyond specialist wards and promotes the vision of the ‘older person friendly hospital’ across all acute ward types.

The Queensland Health web pages listed below will assist the public, general practitioners and other clinicians with advance care planning and care at end of life.

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Contact us

Email: Frail_Older_Persons@health.qld.gov.au

Last updated: 29 August 2019