To identify factors that health and allied health practitioners consider central to excellence in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) with the objective of supporting improvements in monitoring, accountability and service delivery within the sector.
In a qualitative, exploratory designed study, interviews were undertaken with seventeen participants from 10 health and allied health disciplines (general practice, dentistry, pharmacy, psychiatry, psychology, neuropsychology, physiotherapy, speech pathology, occupational therapy and palliative care) with experience of working in Victorian RACFs. The interviews focused on how practitioners perceived excellence within RACFs. Data were analysed thematically.
Thematic analysis yielded five themes, which correspond with different dimensions or ways of understanding excellence, including resident well-being, residences as a true home, good practice models, effective management and skilled staff, and unmet needs. Under each of these themes, participants referred to issues closely related to the concerns of their particular professions as well as those more general in nature.
The diversity in issues to which participants drew attention highlights the importance of obtaining the perspectives of a broad range of practitioners providing services to RACF residents to achieving excellence in the sector. Commonalities in their responses indicate the potential for a greater level of collaboration among the health and allied health professions.