Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021) Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 29 May 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2021). Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/heart-stroke-vascular-diseases/hsvd-facts
Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 29 September 2021, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/heart-stroke-vascular-diseases/hsvd-facts
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2021 [cited 2022 May. 29]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/heart-stroke-vascular-diseases/hsvd-facts
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2021, Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts, viewed 29 May 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/heart-stroke-vascular-diseases/hsvd-facts
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Comprehensive, accurate and timely data are necessary for effective population health monitoring of heart, stroke and vascular disease. Although national health information collections continue to develop and improve, gaps still remain and the information that is collected is not always used to its full potential (AIHW 2020). In addition to data gaps, analysis gaps exist where data may be available but are not brought together efficiently.
Australian health data, however, are undergoing rapid change. Increasing digitisation of health information means more detailed data are being collected, expanding the possibilities for analysing and reporting. There is greater demand for information that is available in real time and at small geographic levels for service planning and delivery; easily accessible, flexible and interactive; comparable at national and sub-national levels; and which maintains privacy and confidentiality.
Current gaps relating to the health of people with heart, stroke and vascular disease include:
Data on the Australian health system is largely organised around occasions of service. Linking these data together and with other data including data from surveys allows for a richer understanding of how people and population groups interact with services and their health outcomes.
Following individuals from a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, through interactions with the health system, to recovery, further illness or death improves our ability to analyse the development and trajectory of disease; the interaction of determinants and interventions; and the role and performance of the health system in managing, treating and preventing disease.
Current opportunities for improving person-centred heart, stroke and vascular disease data include:
Digital health is the use of technology by individuals and by clinicians and administrators to collect and share health information (ADHA 2021). Digital health technology has the potential to remove barriers to service access, for example through the use of telemedicine to provide specialist care to remote or isolated communities.
Digital health records can improve continuity in patient care through the use of electronic health records, such as My Health Record, and enhance clinical decision making and system-wide responses with real-time access to health information between services, sectors and jurisdictions.
Data linkage, also known as data integration, brings together information from more than one source. Matching disparate pieces of information together can fill gaps in our knowledge on specific diseases, effectiveness and quality of health services, population groups and across the health and welfare sectors.
Two examples of recently linked data sets include the National Integrated Health Services Information Analysis Asset (NIHSI AA) developed by the AIHW, and the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP) developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Some opportunities presented by health data linkage include:
ABS 2021. Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study (IHMHS). Canberra: ABS. Viewed 9 August 2021.
ADHA (Australian Digital Health Agency) 2021. National Digital Health Strategy. Sydney: ADHA. Viewed 7 April 2021.
AIHW 2020. ‘Health data in Australia’ in: Australia’s health 2020 data insights. Cat. no. AUS 231. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW 2021. Primary health care. Viewed 7 April 2021.
Paige EP, Doyle K, Jorm L, Banks E, Hsu M-P, Nedkoff L et al. 2021. A versatile big data health system for Australia: Driving improvements in cardiovascular health. Heart, Lung and Circulation.
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