Journal Article

Transforming Data Into Practical Information: Using Consumer Input to Improve Home-Care Services

Robert Applebaum, Suzanne Kunkel and Ken Wilson

in The Gerontologist

Published on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America

Volume 47, issue 1, pages 116-122
Published in print February 2007 | ISSN: 0016-9013
Published online February 2007 | e-ISSN: 1758-5341 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geront/47.1.116
Transforming Data Into Practical Information: Using Consumer Input to Improve Home-Care Services

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Purpose: As funds have increased for the provision of in-home care, so too have concerns about the quality of services. In response, care management agencies and home-care providers have developed an array of monitoring activities designed to ensure the quality of services. In this article, we show how an area agency on aging both collected and used data to improve the quality of a network of in-home services. Design and Methods: Data came from more than 4,200 consumers enrolled in a community-based long-term-care program operated by the agency. In addition, other indicators of quality, such as elapsed time to service, were also collected. The area agency combined these data into part of a provider quality report it produced. Results: The provider quality report showed considerable variation across the more than 80 providers delivering services. The report also included examples of how data could be used to improve the quality of in-home services. Implications: Many home-care agencies now collect data from and about consumers participating in their programs. Often, however, these organizations do not have a good plan for actually using the data. This study demonstrates how to use consumer information to improve the quality of services delivered.

Keywords: Quality; Care management; Consumer satisfaction

Journal Article.  5152 words. 

Subjects: Geriatric Medicine ; Biological Sciences ; Psychology ; Gerontology and Ageing

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