Increasing the quality of assessment

CA-17

 

The importance of independence

  • “Assessment” is a consumer focused process to identify the strengths, resources and needs of the client and their carer(s), in order to partner and together set broad objectives for planned supports that will maximise their level of independent functioning.

Quality assessment will focus solely on the interests of consumers themselves, independent of the interest of service providers (rather than seeking to sell or serve the services of providers delivering particular programs receiving referrals following assessment).

  • Good assessment will consider consumers’ broader lifestyle and situation, identify holistic needs, and be focused on action and response to need
  • Holistic assessment includes for example physical characteristics; practical daily living needs and environmental issues; psycho-social needs; vulnerability/risk areas; and carer/family needs.

Assessment should have the following functions:

  • Identify strengths, resources and needs.
  • Identify opportunities for maximising levels of functioning.
  • Coordinate and collate information.
  • Inform and provide consumer understanding.
  • Develop a support plan identifying broad objectives and outcomes.

Improving the quality of services

Independent assessment agencies aim to increase the quality of assessment in order to ensure the best possible care for clients and carers.

  • Independent assessors provide accountability, transparency and quality assurance regarding service usage, thereby avoiding any potential bias or conflict of interest.
  • Independence of assessment maximises the opportunity for assessors to make autonomous, unbiased judgements in relation to client needs and to minimise employer, professional and resource availability influences at the same time ensuring efficient and effective delivery of services.
  • Independent assessment better ensures that care and services are flexible and adaptable to the client’s changing needs over time.
  • In partnership with consumers, assessors research the best mix of services and providers available for each care situation in order to ensure clients have access to services that are tailored to meet their assessed needs and goals/desires, in the location in which they live.
  • Consumers also hold assessors accountable, by reviewing assessments and support plans, prior to service implementation and commencement of care.