Online Services Report (OSR)

The Online Services Report (OSR) collects national data annually on Indigenous Australians' Health Programme (IAHP) funded medical services. The report provides information about the organisations themselves and the services they provide.

About the OSR

The Online Services Report (OSR) collects national data about organisations which receive funding from the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP) to deliver health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These services include primary health care, maternal and child health care.

The OSR dataset focuses on the characteristics of these services, along with the activities and services they provide. It provides a basic measure of activity, volume and coverage of services.

Health services submit aggregated organisation-level data on:

  • staffing (both employed and visiting full-time equivalent staff)
  • the types of health services provided (currently being revised with aim to implement in time for 1 July 2022 reporting period)
  • the total number of individual clients seen
  • client contacts by provider type
  • episodes of care
  • organisation governance, accreditation and information systems

This data collection aims to:

  • identify key issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health services and gaps in service delivery
  • support continuous quality improvement (CQI) processes in health services.

The OSR dataset does not collect information on Indigenous health outcomes. This information is collected via the National Key Performance Indicators (nKPIs) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework (HPF).


There four stages to the OSR submission and publication process:

  1. Health services provide clinical care to their patients.
  2. Health services submit their OSR data through the Health Data Portal every July.
  3. In collaboration with the AIHW, we review the OSR data in the HDP, ensuring it is as accurate as possible.
  4. The data is published by the AIHW as a national dataset, provided to health services for CQI – enabling services to make comparisons against other services and examine their performance over time, and used by the department to inform and evaluate policy and funding.

Uses of the data

The Commonwealth may use OSR data as specified in the agreement between each health service and the Department of Health and Aged Care. They can use OSR data to:

  • monitor the activity of health services
  • identify areas of need
  • inform policy development and program delivery
  • support continuous quality improvement
  • measure service delivery
  • improve service delivery
  • improve health outcomes
  • support progress towards Closing the Gap targets
  • reduce the burden of reporting
  • inform funding allocations
  • brief the responsible Minister.

History and redesign

The AIHW reviewed the OSR data collection in 2019, and consulted extensively with the Indigenous health sector. We further refined the Health Data Portal’s OSR capability based on the review’s recommendations and information gathered during portal co-design workshops. Key themes were to:

  • reduce duplication and streamline the reporting wherever possible
  • restructure and streamline the OSR into a small number of sections, with related items grouped together
  • pre-populate items from the previous year’s report wherever possible
  • make it easier for services to input workforce full-time equivalent information.

We are implementing these recommendations in 4 stages.

Stage 1 – 1 July 2019

Unchanged OSR questions included in the Health Data Portal.

Stage 2 – 1 July 2020

We included a small number of extra questions in the report, along with new features:

  • All AIHW data validation business rules automatically run and present rapid results to the health service.
  • Healthcare Provider Identifier – Organisation numbers now appear in the Organisation Profile, along with some additional questions about the organisation’s board.
  • A new section in the Site Profile requests confirmation of the name and address of any subsidiary clinics the organisation runs (information drawn from the health service profile in the portal). Extra information for each site is:
    • site type
    • days of operation
    • whether it offers 24-hour emergency care.
  • Users can show or hide updated data item definitions and examples contextually in the OSR.
  • Range of enhancements and bug fixes.

Stage 3 – 1 July 2021

OSR functionality improved to include:

  • updates to the Organisation Profile tab relating to accreditation, incorporation status, not-for-profit status, number of board members, board member training and board members' skills
  • pre-population of sites tab with information provided in the past year’s OSR
  • disaggregation of client numbers by age (5-year age groups) and gender as per OSR Deep Dive 28 May 2020 recommendations
  • uploadable workforce Excel spreadsheet created to populate current collection period’s workforce data.

Future improvements

The OSR and nKPI collections are reviewed every five years by the Health Services Data Advisory Group to ensure that they remain fit for purpose while minimising health services’ reporting burden. We aim to continue refining the OSR collection in 2024- 2025, following the release of the NACCHO Core Services and Outcomes Framework. This document forms part of the planned 2024 OSR and nKPI review. The recommendations from this review will help to guide future improvements to the OSR.

Indigenous reporting contact

Email us with questions or comments about Health's Indigenous data collections. This includes updates to the national key performance indicators and online services report.
Date last updated:

Help us improve

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.