24 Spitex uses its data to optimise client satisfaction and quality of care
The study aimed at deepening the knowledge about the supply, demand and quality of home care in Switzerland. The project analysed the potential of the still little-used database of the Swiss Home Care Association (Spitex) and developed it further.
Project description (completed research project)
In a first step, the database’s potential for health care research was analysed. For this purpose, the quality of the data and their linkage with other health statistics were tested. In a second step, the database was developed further. A questionnaire was established to measure client satisfaction, and the existing quality indicators of home care were evaluated and updated. In the final phase, recommendations for the future use of the database were formulated together with stakeholders.
The number of elderly people requiring long-term care is growing all the time. At the same time, long-term care is increasingly being provided in the home setting rather than in nursing homes or hospitals, applying the principle of “out-patient before in-patient”. Although the importance of home care is growing, little is known about the utilization of home care services or the quality of the care provided. The database of the Spitex association provides a major data source for developing this knowledge.
The aim of the study was to investigate and further develop the data-base to improve the understanding utilization of home care service and the respective data quality. The intention was also to refine the database and to develop suggestions for using it in the future.
The project shows that the quality and representativeness of the Spitex association’s database needs to be improved if it is to be used for generalisable analyses. With the newly developed questionnaire, data on client satisfaction and their care experience can be collected and integrated into the database. In addition, 43 quality indicators were reviewed for use in the Swiss context. Experts and nursing professionals rated seven of them as relevant and as influenceable by nursing.
Significance of the results for research and practice
The study provides an important foundation for improving data availability and thus the quality of home care. An important milestone is the set of indicators for measuring the quality of care, which was developed together with experts and care professionals. Together with the validated client questionnaire, this set of indicators contributes to the transparent assessment of long-term care services at home.
Swiss Home Care Data: patient profiles and quality measures for home care