Data development

Primary Health Care Data Development

AIHW received funding in the May 2018 Federal Budget to develop processes for the governance, standardisation, collection, analysis and reporting of primary health care data within Australia. This work program supports the collection of data from primary health care settings to form a National Primary Health Care Data Collection (the Data Collection), formerly referred to as the ‘Primary Health Care Data Asset’.

The Data Collection will fill a long-standing information gap in relation to primary health care data for population health monitoring, research, policy, and planning. Primary health care is the entry level to the health system and, as such, is usually a person’s first encounter with the health system.

The vision for and value of the Data Collection is that it will:

  • fill existing data and information gaps relating to primary health care;
  • be an accessible and value-added source of information for policy makers, researchers and the public, and support the evidence base underpinning research and policy, including primary health care reform;
  • be enduring, secure, protective of data integrity, and include coherent and relevant analytical and reporting outputs that are underpinned by transparent data governance and standards;
  • enable data linkage, analysis and outcome reporting and be inclusive and reflective of the breadth of primary health care data and practice.

The initial scope of the Data Collection will be the collection, analysis and reporting of general practice data, with a view to develop and incorporate broader primary health care data, including nursing and allied health, into the collection as soon as practicable.

Importantly, the Data Collection will not attempt to duplicate existing data collection and reporting or compete with established governance arrangements. It will be built on existing frameworks and infrastructure, data sources and governance processes, and will align with existing standards to ensure comparability and interoperability.

​The AIHW commenced the project with an extensive Consultation Phase in 2018–20 and is currently in the Development Phase of the project (see below sections for further information).