A Good Life in Old Age?

Monitoring and Improving Quality in Long-term Care

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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.


Why the quality of long-term care matters

Long-term care recipients are demanding greater flexibility, more choice, more autonomy and better service quality. These demands and public stories of inadequate standards of care pressure governments to increase transparency over the quality of care delivered to frail and disabled elderly. This chapter provides definitions and a framework for looking at long-term care quality in this report. Three key domains that are generally accepted as being critical factors underpinning care quality are considered: i) effectiveness and care safety; ii) patient-centredness and responsiveness; iii) care co-ordination. Three structural outcomes instrumental to delivering good quality care are also identified, namely: i) staffing and management; ii) care environment; iii) information and communication technology and other assistive devices.


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