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The nKPI data are collected twice a year from individual service organisations on or before 31 July and 31 January each year. At these collection points, the data collected is from the commencement of the indicator reporting period (can be 6 months, 12 months, 2 years, 3 years, and 5 years depending on the indicator) to 30 June or 31 December. For example, for PI 01 Birthweight recorded—data is collected for the preceding 12 months. So for a collection at 31 July 2014, data is collected from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014. Some indicators are calculated for more than one length of time. For example, data for PI 22 Cervical screening indicator, data are collected for the preceding 2 years, 3 years and 5 years. Again using the example of a collection at 31 July 2014, the data would be for three periods: 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2014, 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2014, and 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2014.

What happens to data at AIHW?

The AIHW receives data which are aggregated according to clients' age and sex. The AIHW does not receive unit record data, or data which identifies individual clients by name or a unique identifier.

After receiving data from all participating health organisations, AIHW runs a series of checks to ensure the quality of the data.

Some of the checks AIHW perform on the data are:

  1. Checking that data about the same group are the same in different indicators. For instance, we check that the number of clients with type 2 diabetes is the same in PI 05, HbA1c recorded and PI 23, Type 2 diabetes clients who had a blood pressure test recorded.
  2. Checking that data are not too different to data that were provided in previous reporting periods, or that the organisation has provided an explanation for the difference.
  3. Checking that the data are logical. For instance, there should not be more immunised children than total children in the same age group.

If the AIHW identifies data quality issues with a submission, an Exception Report is generated and sent to the health organisation, which will then need to check and resubmit correct data. An Exception Report is an electronic report that gives details about data quality issues and queries. It enables the organisation to modify the relevant data. Only those data elements that contain errors can be corrected through this process. This cycle continues until the submitted data passes AIHW data quality checks. If, at the end of the data cut-off date, an organisation is unable to address all data quality issues, their data will be partially accepted and a flag added to the data set to identify data items for exclusion during national reporting.

Health services should refer to information on their PIRS and amend it if possible when completing Exception Reports. Relevant data can then be extracted using the data extraction tool to complete the manual entry form required for the Exception Report.

If submitted data passes all AIHW data quality checks, a final report and slideshow is generated for individual health services, based on an analysis of the data submitted. Reports are posted to OCHREStreams, where they can be accessed by health services. For more information, refer to How to use AIHW individual organisational level reports.

A national dataset that combines all data submitted by primary health care organisations is created by AIHW for national analyses and is used to produce national reports that can inform the general population and public policy. These reports also contain data at jurisdictional and regional level with time series data to track progress over time. All data is stored on a secure server with access limited to a number of key analysts.

How to use AIHW individual organisational level reports

AIHW reports provide national and state level comparison data. Because these reports are based on the final, corrected data submitted by organisations, they may differ from the CQI graphs automatically produced by OCHREStreams.

AIHW reports can be used in a variety of different ways to help develop or improve the performance of a health organisation. Reports can be used to:

Prioritise areas for development

Reports can identify potential areas for development, particularly through comparison to national and regional averages. Differences from average values however do not always mean that there are problems. For example, health
organisations with an unusual service model might be expected to differ from the average. In some cases, the numbers may indicate the absence of procedures or processes that other health organisations are using successfully. Communicating with other health organisations could provide ideas on what practical measures might lead to improvement.

Additionally, improvement of national or regional averages over time may suggest the broad adoption of some effective changes that are relatively easy to implement. If such changes can be identified, then organisations may consider implementing them, even if their organisation is already performing well.

Help other organisations

Better than average performance of an organisation on certain indicators may highlight opportunities to provide guidance to similar organisations. Specific procedures or processes that could be changed or implemented are especially important to communicate.

Provide positive feedback for staff

Better than average performance of an organisation on certain indicators may also provide opportunities for positive staff feedback. Providing staff with concrete examples of where they are doing well can foster a sense of achievement, and may also reflect good practices which can be identified and expanded into other areas.

Learn more about client attendance patterns

Certain indicators are computed for multiple lengths of time. These include HbA1c measurements during the previous 6 and 12 months, and cervical screenings during the past 2, 3, and 5 years. Looking at this information may be useful for getting a sense of how frequently regular clients are having certain checks. Clients' original records should be consulted before any firm conclusions about attendance patterns are drawn.

Other uses

Additionally, individual organisational level reports and accompanying PowerPoint presentations provided by AIHW are designed to help with continuous quality improvement (CQI), staff training, informing board members, and engaging with the community if the organisation chooses. As far as possible, health organisations should interpret numbers in the reports in terms of how they reflect the presence or absence of specific policies and procedures in the organisation. It is important to remember that the numbers in and of themselves are not of direct importance—rather, they are tools that may indicate how an organisation is performing in certain areas, and/or how organisations on average are performing in these areas. Naturally such indications should be considered in the context of the organisation's service model, and the proportion of clients reflected in the report.