A Good Life in Old Age?

Monitoring and Improving Quality in Long-term Care

image of A Good Life in Old Age?

As ageing societies are pushing a growing number of frail old people into needing care, delivering quality long-term care services – care that is safe, effective, and responsive to needs – has become a priority for governments. Yet much still remains to be done to enhance evidence-based measurement and improvement of quality of long-term care services across EU and OECD countries. This book offers evidence and examples of useful experiences to help policy makers, providers and experts measure and improve the quality of long-term care services.


Regulation to improve quality in long-term care

The complexity of care services means that identifying the most appropriate policy approaches to drive long-term care quality can be challenging. This chapter and the next two review the approaches and policies used by OECD and EU countries to promote care quality. Three approaches are identified: 1) imposing external regulatory controls to safeguard and control quality; 2) developing standards to standardise care practice and monitor indicators to ensure that care outcomes match desired levels; and 3) stimulating quality improvement through the use of market-based incentives directed at providers and users, including the use of performance-based financial incentives and competition among care providers. This chapter focuses on external regulatory controls such as the development of minimum standards, licensing or accreditation of facilities and training requirements for workers. Standardisation policies and the use of incentives to drive quality will be analysed in the next two chapters.


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