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The Gerontologist 44:665-679 (2004)
© 2004 The Gerontological Society of America

Home Care Quality Indicators (HCQIs) Based on the MDS-HC

John P. Hirdes, PhD1,, Brant E. Fries, PhD2, John N. Morris, PhD3, Naoki Ikegami, MD, PhD4, David Zimmerman, PhD5, Dawn M. Dalby, MSc1, Pablo Aliaga, MA6, Suzanne Hammer, MA7 and Richard Jones, PhD3

Correspondence: Address correspondence to John P. Hirdes, PhD, Department of Health Studies and Gerontology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L, 3G1. E-mail: hirdes{at}

Purpose: This study aimed to develop home care quality indicators (HCQIs) to be used by a variety of audiences including consumers, agencies, regulators, and policy makers to support evidence-based decision making related to the quality of home care services. Design and Methods: Data from 3,041 Canadian and 11,252 U.S. home care clients assessed with the Minimum Data Set—Home Care (MDS-HC) were used to evaluate a series of indicators suggested by international experts and by focus groups conducted in Canada and the United States. Risk adjustment methods were derived and validated using data from Ontario and Michigan. Results: Of the 73 original candidate HCQIs, 22 were retained for the final list of recommended indicators. All but three indicators include risk adjusters based on individual-level covariates. An agency-level risk adjustment was developed to correct for selection and ascertainment bias. Implications: The HCQIs are new tools providing a first step along the path of quality improvement for home care. These indicators can provide high-quality evidence on performance at the agency level and on a regional basis.

Key Words: Inter-RAI • MDS–HC • Quality of care • Home care • Risk adjustment

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Gerontologist, June 1, 2007; 47(3): 378 - 387.
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Copyright © 2004 by The Gerontological Society of America.