Cognitive performance | HQCA Focus

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Cognitive performance

Percentage of residents within three categories of cognitive performance. (see data dictionary)

What do you think?

  • Looking at these results, are there differences between categories? Over time? Between zones?

Understanding "cognitive performance"

Information in this chart comes from the Cognitive Performance Scale (CPS) and tells us about the cognitive performance, or the ability of long term care residents to think, reason, or remember. These results provide information specifically about residents’ memory recall, their ability to communicate and make themselves understood, and daily decision-making (e.g., when to eat).

The cognitive performance of a long term care resident in these areas is regularly assessed by care staff to present a score that includes these categories:

  • Intact (0),
  • Borderline intact (1),
  • Mild impairment (2),
  • Moderate impairment (3),
  • Moderate/severe impairment (4),
  • Severe impairment (5), and
  • Very severe impairment (6).

A score of 0 means that a resident has no challenges in any area, and a score of 6 means that a resident is very severely challenged in all areas of this measure, or is comatose.

This chart shows the percentage of long term care residents with relatively intact cognitive functioning (score of 0 or 1), mild/moderate impairment (score of 2 or 3), and severe impairment (score of 4 to 6) over time.

The information in this chart can best inform system-level planning for quality improvement, program development, and resource allocation. This is because this data, when reported at an aggregate level, provides a description of the population that requires services in relation to cognitive performance. It does not describe the quality of care or services provided at a site.

Considerations when viewing the results

When thinking about this information, providers and leaders can consider a number of things to better understand these results. Some questions they should consider before taking action include:

  • How would you describe the cognitive performance of the long term care resident population across Alberta? What might the proportion of long term care residents with severe impairment mean for program planning?
  • Given that the population of long term care residents in Alberta has varying levels of cognitive impairment, what types of care, supports, and services are required to ensure safety and quality? Consider the different needs of residents and their families, sites, and zones.
  • What are some leading care practices and interventions that can reduce the risk of adverse outcomes (e.g., reduced involvement in day-to-day life) for long term care residents with higher levels of cognitive impairment? For those that are cognitively intact? Are there additional opportunities to leverage these practices in Alberta?

Alberta Quality Matrix for Health

The Health Quality Council of Alberta uses the Alberta Quality Matrix for Health as a way of organizing information and thinking around the complexity of the healthcare system. This measure can be used as input to assess long term care’s performance in these dimensions of quality: Acceptability, Appropriateness, Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Safety.