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Trusted, timely and accurate information on health service quality and safety performance can be used to stimulate and drive improvements in care. VAHI aims to help clinicians to be better prepared to use their data. They should be able to easily interpret information about where they are getting it right and where they can improve.

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Providing clinicians with the information they need

The Inspire report is specifically targeted to lead clinicians such as chief medical and nursing officers. It was developed by VAHI in response to recommendations in Targeting zero for clinicians to get better access to clinical data. The inaugural issue of Inspire was published in July 2017, and a further four issues were published during the year.

Inspire contains results for a selection of relevant quality and safety measures from Monitor (such as quality and safety measures included in health services’ Statements of Priorities) and additional measures deemed a priority by our Clinical Measurement and Reporting Committee (the committee established to advise VAHI on clinical improvement). During the year, VAHI introduced reporting of routine sentinel events to Inspire, as well as information about hospital-acquired complications and new measures of patient experiences with care.

VAHI produces a statewide edition of Inspire each quarter. In addition, health services receive individualised editions for specific measures.

To promote detailed clinical review at the health-service level, Inspire includes more detail for some measures than is provided to board members in the Board safety and quality report. Similar to the Board safety and quality report, performance targets are intentionally omitted in order to drive continuous quality improvement.

Within each issue of Inspire, Safer Care Victoria (SCV) contributes insights and advice for clinicians. These insights help clinicians interpret the results and translate them into opportunities for improvement.

In addition to the quarterly issues of Inspire, VAHI published two special issues during the year to report on measures not contained in the quarterly report. The topics were deemed to be priorities for clinicians, and were chosen with input from SCV and VAHI’s Clinical Measurement and Reporting Committee.

VAHI published the ‘Sentinel events and mortality’ issue in September 2017. This issue reported on sentinel events, which are unexpected events that cause death or serious harm to a patient while in the care of a health service. The issue also included deaths in low-mortality diagnosis-related groups. These groups represent conditions where the risk of death while in hospital is extremely low.

In June 2018, VAHI published the Inspire ‘Mental health’ issue. This special issue provided accurate, accessible and meaningful performance information to clinicians across the Victorian clinical mental health system. Measures were reported across child and adolescent, adult, aged, secure extended care unit and forensic settings.

Reporting on alcohol and drug treatment

The Department’s national reporting obligations for alcohol and drug treatment moved to VAHI in January 2017.

VAHI’s alcohol and other drug treatment reporting includes reports to the Department comparing funding activities to agreed targets. In addition, VAHI produces a quarterly and annual profile of alcohol and other drug treatment categories, client demographics, service provision and drug statistics. This profile is used for service planners both within the Department and in other organisations. Data is also reported to the Commonwealth Government through annual collections and VAHI’s contribution to the National Illicit Drug Strategy report.

Alcohol and drug treatment data is currently collected according to Alcohol and other Drug Information System (ADIS) specifications, which have been in use since 1999. VAHI and the Department have been working to develop a replacement to ADIS that will be more fit for purpose. From late 2018, ADIS will be replaced by the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Collection specification (VADC). The new dataset will be collected monthly and will enable VAHI to provide more valuable reports in this area.

Responding to data requests

In January 2017, VAHI took on responsibility for the ad hoc data request service known as HOSdata. The service provides data to researchers, funded agencies, the Department, other government departments and agencies, local government, health services and other organisations. The data comes from a number of hospital data collections, such as the admitted, emergency and non-admitted datasets.

HOSdata assists the person making a request to identify the information that will enable them to meet the objectives of their project. The data are used for research to improve quality and safety in health care, to evaluate the efficiency and efficacy of the Victorian health services, and to keep the Minister for Health informed about the state of the system.

VAHI ensures that the information provided complies with all relevant legislation and policy, particularly in relation to the privacy of patients and the need for confidentiality.

VAHI has processed over 350 HOSdata requests since January 2017.

Scoping the expansion of health related data in VAHI’s reporting program

VAHI’s focus during our first year of operation has been reporting health quality and safety data and information.

In late 2017–18, we commenced scoping the inclusion of community health and aged care data within our reporting program. During 2018–19, we will be further scoping the measures and reports that could potentially be included in our reporting program, including examining where we can align measures and reporting tools.

Developing an interactive portal

VAHI seeks to develop an innovative and interactive online data portal in response to recommendations in the Targeting zero report. The portal will create a fundamental shift for VAHI’s reporting products. They will move from being static, PDF-based reports containing selected measures, to fully customisable products that CEOs, board members and clinicians can tailor to their own needs.

The portal will give users access to a broader range of quality and safety measures than can be included in a regular quarterly report. Users will be able to search for the measures they want, including historical data to help identify trends, monitor the impact of local and statewide quality and safety improvement initiatives, and make comparisons with similar health services.

The portal will also include an area for the public to use. This area will share quality and safety information about Victoria’s 84 public health services with the community, in a way that is easy to understand. The portal will deliver on its aim to provide better, more meaningful information to all of VAHI’s audiences.

Page last updated: 20 Sep 2018

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