Interpreting OSR data

This page contains general information to aid in interpreting OSR data. Further information related to both collections is provided on the main Technical notes page.

Where to go for more information

This page contains general information to aid interpretation of OSR data. This should be used in conjunction with additional information contained in the:

Organisational participation and data exclusions

Not all organisations in-scope to report data to the OSR collection do so. This varies by year (tables 1 and 2).

Table 1: OSR organisation participation rate

Reporting period

In-scope to report data

Reported data

Participation rate (%)

2013–14

273

270

98.8

2014–15

279

278

99.6

2015–16

277

277

100.0

2016–17

275

266

96.7

2017–18

278

266

95.7

2018–19

232

232

100.0

2019–20

235

215

91.5

Note: Includes primary health care organisations and maternal and child health organisations.

Table 2: OSR primary health care organisation participation rate

Reporting period

In-scope to report data

Reported data

Participation rate (%)

2013–14

204

204

100.0

2014–15

203

203

100.0

2015–16

204

204

100.0

2016–17

201

196

97.5

2017–18

203

198

97.5

2018–19

210

210

100.0

2019–20

215

196

91.2

Note: Excludes maternal and child health organisations.

For the organisation that do report data, particular data items may be excluded from analysis if data quality issues have not been resolved. Common data quality queries received during data submission relate to incomplete or inaccurate data (for example, workforce positions not reported or reported in terms of the number of people rather than full-time equivalent positions); data discrepancies between two or more questions (for example, the number of clients exceeding the number of episodes of care); and large increases or decreases in data items compared with previous submissions. Where significant data quality issues remain after follow-up with organisations, affected data are excluded from analyses. This varies by year and by data item (tables 3 and 4).

Table 3: OSR organisations with unresolved data quality issues

Reporting period

Number of organisations with unresolved issues

Total number of organisations that reported data

Organisations with unresolved issues (%)

Data items excluded

2013–14

36

270(a)

13.3

49

2014–15

21

278

7.6

40

2015–16

13

277

4.7

32

2016–17

16

266

6.0

32

2017–18

20

266

7.5

40

2018–19

5

232

2.2

10

2019–20

2

215

0.9

3

  1. Includes 1 organisation for which all data items were excluded due to reporting scope issues. As these were not data quality issues, the organisation is not included in the organisations with unresolved issues or the data items excluded for 2013–14.

Note: Includes primary health care organisations and maternal and child health organisations.

Table 4: OSR primary health care organisations with unresolved data quality issues

Reporting period

Number of organisations with unresolved issues

Total number of organisations that reported data

Organisations with unresolved issues (%)

Data items excluded

2013–14

29

204(a)

14.2

38

2014–15

16

203

7.9

26

2015–16

9

204

4.4

26

2016–17

11

196

5.6

22

2017–18

15

198

7.6

30

2018–19

4

210

1.9

5

2019–20

2

196

1.0

3

  1. Includes 1 organisation for which all data items were excluded due to reporting scope issues. As these were not data quality issues, the organisation is not included in the organisations with unresolved issues or the data items excluded for 2013–14.

Note: Excludes maternal and child health organisations.

Maternal and child health organisations

While a small number of organisations that received funding only for maternal and child health services (MCH organisations) report to the OSR collection, these are excluded from the OSR data presented in this report unless otherwise noted.

MCH organisations reporting to the OSR are significantly different from organisations funded for comprehensive primary health care (PHC), both in the purpose of the funding and in what they report in the OSR. For example, MCH organisations are funded only for specific maternal and child health programs (such as those based within a hospital or health service) and only report on their funded program.

Changes to collection content in 2018–19

In 2018–19, the OSR collection underwent significant change and was scaled back to include only ‘core’ items. Items dropped include the substance use and social and emotional wellbeing modules, and the services provided and cultural safety items. Plans are underway to reintroduce key items in a staged approach over the next few years (see the Health Data Portal: Online Services Report).

Also, collections prior to 2018–19 had maternal and child health (MCH) questions in a separate module to preventative health. In 2018–19 these were combined but the data range MCH services were required to report was only focused on what they received MCH funding for, not through all types of PH services the health organisation offered.

Changes to episodes of care in 2016–17

While the collection and validation processes for most years have been similar, episodes of care data for 2016–17 are not comparable with other years because changes were made to the types of contacts counted as an episode of care. There were also corrections made to the counting rules used by one clinical information system which did not fully align with the episode of care definition (which had not changed since originally agreed in 2008–09). These led to lower numbers of episodes of care recorded and potential undercounts for some services in 2016–17. In 2017–18, these contact types were again included in the episodes of care count and the extraction issues around episodes of care counts were resolved. This also affected counts of client contacts.