Client experience with personal care staff capability

How clients rated if personal home care staff knew what care was needed and how to provide it. (see data dictionary)

What do you think?

  • Why does personal care staff capability matter?
  • How might this information be used to inform Continuing Care Health Service Standards 1.0 Standardized Assessment and Person-Centred Care Planning, 8.0 Health Care Providers, 9.0 Staff Training, and/or related sub-standards?
  • Are there differences between zones? Between mainly rural and urban zones? What factors could account for these differences?

Whether you’re a client, family member, provider, or health system administrator, thinking about why these differences might exist can start or inform conversations and lead to solutions for improved quality of healthcare.

Understanding “personal staff capability”

In a survey conducted from October 2018 to March 2019, the HQCA asked clients receiving home care:

In the last year, personal care staff knew what kind of care I needed and how to provide it….

Clients could choose “Yes / Partly / No ”

Personal care services are typically provided by health care aides for things like help with dressing, eating, and bathing.

Considerations when viewing the results:

This data reflects the experiences of seniors aged 65+ receiving long term supportive and maintenance care and are among the largest groups of home care clients.

There are a number of factors providers and leaders can consider to better understand and improve client experiences with personal care staff understanding of what clients needed and how to provide it. Some questions they could ask before taking action include:

  • How can these results help us understand how well personal care staff are providing care that is individualized for a person’s needs, as well as their preferences, routines, and habits?
  • How can home care provider organizations support personal care staff to learn how to provide care that meets a client’s needs, especially if it is a new client? For example, how is the care plan shared with personal care staff?
  • What actions can individual personal care staff take to learn how to provide care that meets a clients needs and is provided in a way that aligns with their preferences, routines, and habits?
  • How are leading care practices communicated to clients and their loved ones? For example, a client may prefer looser application of compression stockings, not knowing how tight they should be to be effective. They may assume a staff member making them looser is doing a better job than one wrapping them to an appropriate tightness.
  • What if personal care staff does not know what kind of care a client needs and how to provide it? What impact could this have on their experiences with care and safety?
  • What is the client’s role in ensuring staff know what kind of care they need? Should they have a role to play in supporting this?

For information about the HQCA’s Alberta Seniors Home Care Client Survey, please visit the HQCA website.

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 home care’s performance in these dimensions of quality:
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Dimensions of Quality

  • Acceptability 
  • Accessibility 
  • Appropriateness 
  • Effectiveness 
  • Efficiency 
  • Safety