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released: 29 Sep 2009

This report sets out recommendations for a set of 55 national indicators of safety and quality in health care. The report concludes the National Indicators Project, a major project funded by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) and undertaken by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in close consultation with the Commission and a wide range of clinical and other stakeholders.

ISBN 978 1 74024 961 4; Cat. no. HSE 75; 286pp.; INTERNET ONLY

Full publication

Publication table of contents

  • Preliminary material (252KB PDF)
    • Title and verso pages
    • Contents
    • Acknowledgements
    • Abbreviations
    • Summary
      • What does the indicator set cover?
      • Are the indicators ready for use?
      • How might public reporting of these Indicators make a difference?
  • Body section
    1. Introduction (111KB PDF)
      • 1.1 Background
      • 1.2 Purpose of this report
    2. Methods (449KB PDF)
      • 2.1 Consultation
      • 2.2 Scope
      • 2.3 Definitions of safety and quality
      • 2.4 Framework for the indicators
      • 2.5 Support projects
      • 2.6 How the indicators were selected
    3. Recommended indicators: a summary (149KB PDF)
      • 3.1 List of recommended indicators
      • 3.2 Alignment with the indicator framework
      • 3.3 Measurability, data sources and international comparisons
    4. Taking the indicators forward (219KB PDF)
      • 4.1 Reporting of indicators - public reporting, levels and frequency, reporting formats
      • 4.2 Priorities for further development
  • End matter
    • Appendixes
      1. Recommended indicators (674KB PDF)
        • Enhanced primary care services in general practice
        • General practices using a register and recall system for patients with chronic disease
        • People with moderate to severe asthma who have a written asthma action plan
        • Management of hypertension in general practice
        • Management of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions
        • Annual cycle of care for people with diabetes mellitus
        • Cervical cancer screening rates
        • Immunisation rates for vaccines in the national schedule
        • Eye testing for target groups
        • Quality of community pharmacy services
        • Developmental health checks in children
        • People receiving a medication review
        • Assessment for risk of venous thromboembolism in hospital
        • Pain assessment in the Emergency Department
        • Reperfusion for acute myocardial infarction in hospitals
        • Stroke patients treated in a stroke unit
        • Complications of transfusion
        • Health Care Associated Infections acquired in hospital
        • Staphylococcus aureus (including MRSA) bacteraemia in hospitals
        • Adverse drug events in hospital
        • Malnutrition in hospitals and residential aged care facilities
        • Pressure ulcers in hospitals and residential aged care facilities
        • NCCH 2008Falls resulting in patient harm in hospitals and residential aged care facilities
        • Complications of anaesthesia
        • Accidental puncture/laceration in hospital
        • Obstetric trauma - third and fourth degree tears
        • Birth trauma - injury to neonate
        • Postoperative haemorrhage
        • Postoperative venous thromboembolism
        • Unplanned return to operating theatre
        • Unplanned re-admission to an Intensive Care Unit
        • Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR)
        • Death in low mortality DRGs
        • Independent peer review of surgical deaths
        • Discharge medication management for acute myocardial infarction
        • Timely transmission of discharge summaries
        • Mental health admitted patients having seclusion
        • Post-discharge community care for mental health patients
        • Quality of palliative care
        • Functional gain achieved in rehabilitation
        • Multidisciplinary care plans in sub-acute care
        • Oral health in residential aged care
        • Unplanned hospital re-admissions
        • Inappropriate co-prescribing of medicines
        • Selected potentially preventable hospitalisations
        • Lower-extremity amputation in people with diabetes
        • Cancer survival
        • Failure to diagnose
        • Potentially avoidable deaths
        • Patient experience
        • Presence of appropriate incident monitoring arrangements
        • Accreditation of health care services
      2. Consultation Process (168KB PDF)
        • National Indicators Advisory Group
        • Key messages from stakeholder consultation
        • Proposed indicators that were removed or revised and new indicators added
        • Consultation Feedback – in detail
      3. Types of indicators and how they are used (113KB PDF)
      4. Alignment with the indicator framework (237KB PDF)
      5. Support Projects (138KB PDF)
        • OECD patient safety indicators
        • Measuring and reporting mortality
        • Primary care
      6. National Hospital Morbidity Database (131KB PDF)
    • References
    • List of tables
    • List of figures

Recommended citation

AIHW 2009. Towards national indicators of safety and quality in health care. Cat. no. HSE 75. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 30 May 2016 <http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=6442468285>.

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