Following recommendations made in the Targeting zero review, the Victorian Government made a commitment to implement solutions to reduce avoidable harm and strengthen quality and safety.
Since the Victorian Agency for Health Information (VAHI) was created in 2017, as part of this commitment we have seen the agency develop and strengthen its role within the Victorian health system. After embedding a range of functions from the Department of Health and Human Services (the Department) in its first year, 2018–19 has seen VAHI improve quality and safety reporting in Victoria, better supporting quality and safety in health services and driving improvement in care. Across Victoria, health service boards, executives and clinicians have greater visibility in quality and safety than ever before, including how they compare to their peers and trends over time.
Achievements from the year include production of Victoria’s first quality and safety report for private hospitals.
Reforms to the Victorian Healthcare Experience Survey program have included changes to provide small and local health services access to more patient experience results, helping to drive patient-centred care.
VAHI’s big linked data project provided a more complete picture of ongoing treatment for cardiac patients, matching patients’ de-identified hospital data with the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for the first time.
VAHI has also carried out significant reform to the Victorian Health Incident Management System (VHIMS) program, including rollout of the new VHIMS Central system to Victorian public and community health services and development of a new minimum dataset. The release of the first statewide incident report will add a vital component for understanding health service quality and safety.
In January 2019, Machinery of Government changes led to the addition of population health surveillance to VAHI’s remit. This work, which includes the important Victorian Population Health Survey, recognises and extends VAHI’s role in building a picture of the health of all Victorians that will inform policy and service delivery across the health system.
VAHI continues to collaborate closely with Safer Care Victoria (SCV) and the Department to implement a coordinated approach to quality and safety monitoring, reporting and improvement in Victoria. This will deliver even greater value for the sector as these relationships develop over the coming years.