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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Defining Quality Care - The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving

Ten measurements of quality care are listed by Richard C. Birkel, Ph.D., at The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving . In "Defining Quality Care in Long Term, Home and Community Settings" Dr. Birkel starts with discussing care that is (1) safe, (2) effective, and (3) personalized.

Safe Care provides care that avoids injuries to the care-receiver or to the caregiver. I will add some examples for you:

  • clearing the home of unsafe conditions
  • safe lifting procedures and lifting devices when needed
  • caregiver notes, emergency medical information, emergency contacts available
  • training for caregivers
  • emergency procedures for home caregivers re: calling 911, rescue workers, ambulances

Effective care is based on scientific knowledge. Again, some examples I might add include:

  • caregiver training from the Red Cross in their new program
  • caregiver support groups that provide education and other local city and state programs
  • formal and informal training, books, internet

Personalized care respects the preferences, needs and values of the care-receiver. My additions of examples include:

  • respecting preferences if someone wishes to remain in the home vs. facility
  • treating care-receivers with respect for their values
  • caregivers offering options and choices to the care-receiver when possible
  • designing a customized care program specially tailored for the individual's satisfaction

For more about the other seven topics covered in Dr. Birkel's paper you can visit the RCI website.

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