The review of the current state of Australia’s health system performance information and reporting frameworks

Background and purpose of the review

The NHPF was established in 2001 and the PAF was established in 2011. Reviews of the indicators in these frameworks commenced in 2015. However, there has not been an overarching review of national health frameworks since the NHPF was revised in 2009.

Within this context, the Department of Health (on behalf of AHMAC) commissioned Nous, an independent management consulting firm, to conduct a review of Australia’s health system performance information and reporting frameworks.

The purpose of the review is to determine the following:

How can AHMAC modernise, strengthen and rationalise Australia's health system performance information and reporting framework?

The review is focused on the underlying frameworks and processes for health system performance information and reporting. The specific indicators within the frameworks are not in the scope of this review.

This review is concerned with health system performance information and reporting under the NHPF, PAF and the related data within the existing National Minimum Data Sets (NMDS). It acknowledges that much of the same data is used to administer the National Health Funding Pool, which receives all Commonwealth and activity-based state and territory hospital funding. The same data is also used to reconcile estimated and actual service delivery volumes for Commonwealth payment purposes. This review does not suggest that the data used for financial calculations is subordinate to or should be incorporated within the same data collection process for health system performance and information reporting.

Recommendations from the review will contribute to a more robust, transparent and streamlined performance information and reporting framework. This will lead to a better understanding of and ability to improve the health of people in Australian and the health system.

Methodology of the review

Nous commenced the review in August 2016 and intends to complete the review in March 2017. The review has included:

  • a detailed document and literature review
  • comparative analysis of reporting frameworks from other sectors, jurisdictions and countries
  • extensive stakeholder consultations.

The main activities of the review are outlined in the figure below.

Timelines of activities for the review

Click on image to enlarge it

Stakeholders have been engaged at each major stage of the review. More than 150 people have been consulted through a combination of interviews and focus groups. The key stakeholder groups included AHMAC and the relevant committees, Commonwealth and State and Territory departments and agencies, national commissions and independent agencies, Primary Health Networks representatives, peak bodies, academics and international jurisdictions. The review has also been informed by stakeholder submissions for the recent reviews of indicators in the NHPF and PAF.

Implementation of review recommendations

After the public consultation process, AHMAC will consider responsibility for implementation of the recommendations. This will include the respective roles for the National Health Information and Performance Principal Committee (NHIPPC) and the National Health Information Standards and Statistics Committee (NHISSC). Nous notes that a separate review of the operation of the AHMAC principal committee and second tier and subsidiary committee structure will occur over the coming months and that the outcomes of that review will also contribute to the future roles for NHIPPC and NHISSC.