The ACT Department of Health (ACT Health) continues to undertake a number of data quality improvement activities regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data. These include:
- An information and education strategy encouraging ACT Government Health Directorate staff to identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and patients to identify, based on the Australian Institue of Health and Welfare's (AIHW) 'One simple questions could help you close the gap' campaign, is being implemented across the Directorate. Information sessions together with posters and pamphlets have been delivered across both hospitals and in the community health space. The ACT Patient Administration System has been upgraded to ensure the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification question is a mandatory field. All pathology forms and all out patient collection stations within the hospital now collect the information. The Epidemiology Branch will monitor improvements in identification data and report outcomes.
- ACT Pathology project.
The under-identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients in administrative data leads to a biased estimation of the true use of health services, which impacts on estimates of health expenditures and affects accurate planning and delivery of health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. ACT Health has entered an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identifier as a mandatory field on ACT Pathology forms. Training has been conducted with Pathology staff on how best to ask clients to identify and a handout and brochure that encourages clients to identify has been made available in waiting areas. Improving identification on pathology forms has flow-on effects of improving identification in other data sets, e.g., ACT Cancer Registry, Communicable Disease Register and hospital data.
- ACT Health PMI Hub project.
To improve quality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification in key vitals and administrative data sets, ACT Health has commenced collection of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identifier within the Patient Master Index (PMI), which will enable the identification status of a person to be shared throughout ACT Health IT systems. ACT Health is working to ensure that adherence to standards ensuring ethical and privacy considerations are taken into account.Top of page