Primary health care is a vital component of Australia’s health care system accounting for a large proportion of health care expenditure annually. It is often the first point of contact individuals have with the health system and encompasses a broad range of professions and services. Despite this, there is limited availability of primary health care system data making it difficult to assess the positive impact of this sector on the health of Australians and or identify where improvements are needed.
In the May 2018 Federal Budget the AIHW was funded to establish a Primary Health Care Data Unit and to develop a National Primary Health Care Data Asset (Data Asset). The Data Asset development aligns with priorities outlined in the 2018 Heads of Agreement on public hospital funding and health reform; specifically Enhanced health data as one of the goals of long-term system wide reform.
It is envisaged that an enduring Data Asset will contain reliable, detailed, high-quality data about primary health care which will assist in the creation of a comprehensive understanding of the system and a patient’s journey and experiences within it. It has the potential to create new avenues of analysis for providers, policy-makers and healthcare researchers to enable better population health planning, help identify gaps in primary health care services and ultimately improve patient health outcomes. The process of establishing the Data Asset will also be used to drive cyclical improvements in the quality and standardisation of contributing data.
The proposed Data Asset will:
The AIHW exposed a draft Data Development Plan for the Data Asset which formed the basis of a national consultation. The broader community provided input on developing the Data Asset during the first half of 2019. The online submission process of this multi-phase project has now concluded. A Consultation Report is being drafted which outlines the key issues identified from the feedback and next steps in developing the Data Asset.
The report will be published on this page in late August 2019.
AIHW Primary Health Care Data Unit
Phone: (02) 6244 1000
Email: [email protected]
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