National Key Performance Indicators Data Quality Review

This report reviews the data quality of the national key performance indicators which provide information on process of care and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients of Commonwealth funded Aboriginal primary health care services.

Page last updated: 2015

Executive summary

The Department of Health engaged SMS Management and Technology to review the data quality of the national Key Performance Indicators (nKPIs), a set of indicators that provides information on process of care and health outcomes, currently reported for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients of Commonwealth funded Aboriginal primary health care services.

To date there has been some concern expressed within the Aboriginal health sector that there may be issues with the data being reported for the nKPIs. The Department of Health currently has limited visibility and understanding of these potential issues, and engaged SMS to undertake a review in order to:

  • Provide an assessment of the nature and extent of data quality issues and concerns in the overall system; and
  • Provide advice on strategies to improve data quality

To address these objectives, SMS interviewed a number of organisations and individuals in the sector and analysed a range of data sources relating to nKPI submissions. SMS also reviewed nKPI data quality in the context of the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Data Quality Framework.

Based on this analysis, the review finds that:

  1. There is no evidence of system-wide technical problems affecting nKPI data quality. Compared with the later Healthy for Life data collections (2010-2011), nKPI health services are achieving higher levels of compliance more quickly, with broadly comparable levels of data validity.
  2. While the collection of nKPIs to date can be regarded as a solid start, the review identifies a number of areas of focus for improving future nKPI data collections. These include recommendations to improve the:
    1. Accuracy and completeness of data for specific indicators
    2. nKPI functionality of specific clinical information systems
    3. Tools provided to health services to preview and improve their nKPI data
  3. A key determinant of future nKPI data quality will be enhancing the ongoing capability and capacity of reporting health services to capture, clean, manage and interpret their patient data.
  4. While nKPI reporting compliance is high, low levels of engagement in parts of the Aboriginal health sector suggest that challenges remain in moving the nKPI collection from a reporting compliance activity to an embedded Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) activity.

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