2012 Conference Presentation
To set the context, this presentation looks at the emerging Austrian long-term care (LTC) system in the context of a federal constitution, which divides competences and responsibilities between national, regional and local levels. It also outlines the LTC allowance, the main funding mechanism for LTC; the supply of community (home care) services and residential facilities within the mixed economy of welfare ie. the specific role of private (non-profit and for-profit) providers; and provisions for 24-hour care.
In terms of the regulatory framework for quality assurance, the paper then outlines the authorisation, standards and inspection procedures for both residential care and home care services in selected regions in Austria. In the third section, the focus turns to quality development at the provider level, which in Austria has a bottom-up approach. Specifically, the authors discuss the quality management tools applied (E-Qalin, QAP (EFQM), ISO, KTQ) and the development of the “National Quality Certificate” (NQZ) for care homes and whether these contribute towards public reporting and benchmarking. Turning to major challenges for quality assurance and quality management of LTC in Austria, the last section looks at job descriptions and training needs: how to implement quality thinking in professional care work?; incentives/disincentives: who is interested in quality development?; the purchaser-provider-split revisited: the specific relationships between providers, funders and users in Austria; quality assurance in home care and in “24-hour-care” by migrant carers; and outcome-oriented indicators addressing quality of care, quality of life, management and leadership, economic performance and context variables.