This third national report on the Indigenous primary health care national Key Performance Indicators (nKPIs) data collection presents information on indicators collected over 6 reporting periods between June 2012 and December 2014. Data for this collection are provided to the AIHW 6-monthly by primary health care organisations who receive funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and state and territory health departments to provide services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The number of organisations reporting increased substantially over the 6 reporting periods, from 90 in June 2012 to 233 in December 2014.

The purpose of the nKPIs is to support policy and planning at the national and state/territory level by monitoring progress and highlighting areas for improvement. The nKPIs can also be used to improve the delivery of primary health care services by supporting continuous quality improvement (CQI) activity among service providers.

Information is presented against 21 indicators (and 27 key indicator measures-19 process-of-care measures and 8 health outcomes measures) that focus on maternal and child health, preventative health and chronic disease management.

Processes of care are largely under the control of organisations, so process-of-care measures are used to assess primary health care practices. However, the ability of some organisations to undertake some process-of-care functions can be affected by external factors such as staffing levels, funding constraints or access to shared information.

Many of the wide range of factors influencing health outcomes, on the other hand, are beyond the immediate control of primary health care organisations.

Improvements were seen in 17 of the 19 process-of-care measures ( Table S1). Organisations in Western Australia in particular showed improvements against most process-of-care indicators, as did those in Very remote areas.

Improvements were also seen in 3 of the 8 health outcomes measures (note that trend data were available for only 5 of the 8 health outcome measures):

  • smoking status results-the proportion of current smokers declined from 54% in June 2013 to 52% in December 2014
  • health of clients with type 2 diabetes-those who had an HbA1c (glycosylated haemoglobin) result of ≤7% in the previous 6 months rose from 32% in June 2012 to 35% in December 2014. (An HbA1c result of ≤7% is the optimum target encouraged by Diabetes Australia to ensure good glycaemic control and reduce the incidence of diabetes-related illness.)
  • blood pressure result for clients with type 2 diabetes-the proportion who had a blood pressure result of ≤130/80 mmHg increased from 40% in June 2012 to 44% in December 2014.

A group of organisations that were followed up through 4 reporting periods show significant improvements for many process-of-care indicators. For example, on average, every 6 months 'Smoking status recorded' increased by 5.8 percentage points, 'MBS health assessments-adults aged 25 and over' increased by 2.7 percentage points and 'General Practitioner Management Plan-clients with type 2 diabetes' increased by 2.5 percentage points.