Australian Government Department of Health
The Aged Care GP Panels Initiative aims to increase the access to GPs, for aged care facilities and their residents, by reimbursing participating GPs in addition to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items available. Aged Care GP Panels have been set up in each of the Divisions of General Practice across Australia.
The Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) engaged Australian Healthcare Associates (AHA) to assist in the conduct of a Baseline Survey of aged care facilities. This survey was designed to collect baseline data, to be compared with the results of future surveys, in order to gauge the effectiveness of the Government's GP Panels Initiative for Aged Care Facilities.
AHA designed the survey, assisted in receiving Statistical Clearing House approval and entered, compiled and analysed data from 1,264 returned surveys. Following analysis of the data, a report was provided to DoHA reporting the results on a national basis as well as for each State/Territory and for each Division of General Practice.
Following AHA's successful conduct of the 2004 Baseline Survey, the Department of Health and Ageing engaged AHA to undertake the 2006 Aged Care GP Panels Survey. This survey built on the 2004 Baseline Survey, with comparison of the results from both surveys helping to enable DoHA gauge the success of the Aged Care GP Panels Initiative.
To ensure consistency and comparability between the two surveys, the majority of the survey was kept consistent with the Baseline Survey. Therefore, as with the 2004 Baseline Survey, this survey requested information from aged care facilities regarding the:
•Access to GPs for resident consultations and other routine services
•Involvement of GPs in facilities' quality improvement activities
•Partnerships and collaboration between aged care facilities and Divisions of General Practice.
AHA devised a sophisticated sampling formula, which ensured that an appropriate number of facilities were surveyed and that the sample was representative of each of the 119 Divisions of General Practice (DGP).