What is the aged care star rating system?
Posted 26th May 2023
- Residents’ Experience
- Quality Measures
How do they come up with the stars?
Compliance is measured based on the Aged Care Quality Standards which are used to provide a guide for how an aged care home in Australia should operate. The stars for compliance are calculated in a very similar way to the previous ‘dot’ system that was in place on the My Aged Care website.
Note: We’ve tried to offer simplified versions of some of these areas, but if you’re after all the detail of how these are calculated, you can visit the Star Ratings Provider Manual to see the different areas that get assessed as a part of these ratings.
Adequate numbers in staffing has been a hot topic in aged care for many years and the latest attempt at getting us closer to consistent care is through the new aged care funding model AN-ACC.
While AN-ACC itself is a subject for another article entirely, there are some important new standards set out by the Commission around staffing that affect the staffing section of the star ratings including a standardized number for care minutes.
The new minimum average care minutes includes:
• 200 care minutes per day for a resident,
• With 40 of those minutes from a Registered Nurse.
Average care minutes, however, are all dependent on the level of care. A resident with less care needs would need less care minutes from clinical staff and this is all worked out through AN-ACC.
Once the average care minutes have all been worked out, a star rating is assigned based on how high or below the average a provider’s care minutes is.
Important note: Staffing refers to the level of clinical staff and doesn’t include lifestyle workers, pastoral carers and volunteers
The quality measures section looks at the percentage of incidents that are occuring within a home and combines them together to create a star rating.
Specifically, quality measures look at:
• Pressure injuries – how many there are and how many there are for residents
• Physical restraint – how often is it used in a home (if at all)
• Unplanned weight loss – how many residents experienced unplanned weight loss
• Falls and major injury – the number and severity of falls and injuries
• Medication management – checking to make sure that residents aren’t overprescribed
Why does any of this matter?
While there is a lot of detail within how these stars are calculated, it’s important that you’re aware of how much scrutiny care goes under in the aged care sector.
There are many, many people inside and outside of St Vincent’s that are reviewing care practices constantly to make sure that people living in aged care get the best possible care.
If you have questions about your own, or your loved one’s care, you can reach out to your home’s clinical team who can give you an update.