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Review of the two national Indigenous specific primary health care datasets

The Online Services Report and the national Key Performance Indicators
Aboriginal Australians Cultural awareness Indigenous health Primary health care Australia

The Online Services Report (OSR) and the national Key Performance Indicators (nKPI) collect data from the organisations funded by the Australian Government to deliver comprehensive and culturally appropriate primary health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. AIHW undertook a review of these data sets for the Department of Health. This report highlights the importance of these data collections, summarises the findings of the review and presents a series of recommendations for their improvement in the future.

For each collection, the main objectives of the review were to:

1. clarify their purpose and reporting requirements

2. identify their strengths and weaknesses

3. develop actionable options (recommendations) around how they can better meet the needs of key stakeholders (health services, peak bodies, funders, and policymakers) in the future, including providing options to:

  • ensure better alignment and synergy between the two collections
  • reduce reporting burden for health services
  • improve the usefulness of the collections for key stakeholders.

Key findings:

  • there could be more clarity around the purpose of the collections
  • there was variation in the extent to which different stakeholders found the collections useful
  • improvements could be made to the content of the collections, including revising items in the OSR to better reflect what ISPHCSs do, and ensuring the nKPIs (as individual indicators and as a set) maintain their relevance and continue to meet current clinical and best practice guidelines
  • the burden of reporting could be reduced, for example, by streamlining the OSR collection instrument, and improving training material for clinical information systems (CIS).
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