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Australia has a high quality health care system, rating well internationally, and serving the bulk of the population well. Nevertheless, the safety and quality of health care in Australia is of interest to health care planners, providers and users, as efforts continue to maintain and improve the performance of health care services.

A range of performance indicator reports and other statistical reports on Australian health care services have been published by the Institute and other organisations.

This web site has been designed to bring together a comprehensive array of health care safety and quality statistical information from a range of Australian and selected international sources.

In this subject

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care commenced on 1 January 2006 and is funded by the Australian, State and Territory Governments to develop a national strategic framework and associated work program that will guide its efforts to improve safety and quality across the health care system in Australia.

Over its life, the Commission will:

  • lead and coordinate improvements in safety and quality in health care in Australia by identifying issues and policy directions, and recommending priorities for action
  • disseminate knowledge and advocate for safety and quality
  • report publicly on the state of safety and quality including performance against national standards
  • recommend national data sets for safety and quality, working within current multilateral governmental arrangements for data development, standards, collection and reporting
  • provide strategic advice to Health Ministers on best practice thinking to drive quality improvement, including implementation of strategies and
  • recommend nationally agreed standards for safety and quality improvement.

Partnership between the AIHW and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

On Monday 25 September 2006, a Partnership Agreement was signed between the Institute and the Commission. The agreement sets out the broad intentions of the Commission and the Institute to work together towards a more informative, more usable national system of information that enhances the safety and quality of health care.

One main outcome of the agreement is the development of a set of 55 national indicators of the safety and quality of clinical care provided to patients across the Australian health care system. These 55 indicators, along with the framework used to inform their selection, and data on the indicators where available, can be found in the AIHW's report Towards national indicators of safety and quality in health care.

Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation

Mapping variation is an invaluable tool for understanding how our healthcare system is providing care. The Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation series illuminates variation by mapping use of health care according to where people live. Each Atlas identifies specific achievable actions for exploration and quality improvement.