'Strengthen' performance reporting for more efficient health system

30 May, 2014

'Can we improve the health system with performance reporting?' is the latest issue brief published by the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research, the research arm of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA).

The brief describes Australian and international experiences with performance reporting, summarises the latest research evidence and analyses the implications for policymakers.

"Performance reporting is not new in Australia. There is a long history of reporting on various hospital and health indicators," said Alison Verhoeven, Chief Executive of the AHHA. "Today's release of 2013 public hospital emergency wait-time data by the National Health Performance Authority is yet another example.

"If the goal is to help local health services and the health system understand where performance can be improved and identify effective practices to be taken up, then efforts should be made to develop more timely data collection, analysis and reporting," Verhoeven said.

"The research evidence increasingly supports the use of targets, performance monitoring and both their public and non-public reporting as drivers of quality improvements and clinical outcomes in health systems," said Krister Partel, Policy Analyst with the AHHA's Deeble Institute.

"Health Minister Peter Dutton should review performance indicators, the manner and speed in which they are collected and the way they are reported as the Government establishes the new Health Productivity and Performance Commission," said Alison Verhoeven. "It's becoming clear that current targets are driving improvements in public hospitals, and we should look to build on current successes."

"The Minister should also revise plans to end reward funding attached to the National Elective Surgery Target and the National Emergency Access Target. Co-operation between the Commonwealth and the states and territories to collect hospital data and report and reward performance improvement drives a more efficient health system," Verhoeven said.

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association represents Australia's largest group of healthcare providers in public hospitals, community and primary health sectors and advocates for universal high quality healthcare to benefit the whole community.

Source: Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA)