Mid North Coast Local Health District
Unnecessary decision-making capacity assessment and guardianship applications can have detrimental effects on patients and health systems. The team aimed to determine the impact of capacity testing procedures on conducting capacity assessment and understand who requires capacity assessment and guardianship applications in hospital settings.
After implementation of capacity testing, there were statistically significant increases in holding multi-disciplinary team meetings, documentation of decision-making capacity assessment processes and reduction in length of stay. Most patients who required guardianship application had no evidence of future care planning.
This study provides evidence of process gaps in capacity assessment, indicating clinical and demographic characteristics of those who need and don’t need capacity assessment and guardianship applications.