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Information on the quality and safety of Victoria’s health services should be available to all Victorians. VAHI’s role is to provide the Victorian community with trusted, accurate and meaningful information about health services.

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Reporting performance to the Victorian community

VAHI publicly reports on statewide and health service-level performance in areas including hospital admissions, emergency care, ambulance services, elective surgery, patient experience, dental care and mental health. The information is updated quarterly as part of our commitment to provide Victorians with an accurate picture of the performance of health services in their local area.

This information has been presented on the Victorian Health Services Performance (VHSP) website since 2011.

VAHI will soon launch a new, interactive data website to replace the VHSP website, which will be decommissioned towards the end of 2019.

The new website has many improvements, including presenting the data so users can compare data between hospitals and health services around the state. It provides a better user experience, making it easier for people to understand and explore data about health service performance.

In 2019–20, we will expand on the information we report publicly to include topics of particular interest to the Victorian public.

Meeting government reporting requirements

VAHI’s responsibilities for reporting data to the Australian Government include preparing and submitting Victoria’s National Minimum Datasets and National Best Endeavours Datasets with significant collaboration across the Department.

This significant piece of work includes making submissions to the Independent Hospitals Pricing Authority and National Health Funding Body to calculate Victoria’s activity-based health funding. VAHI also prepares submissions for the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Department of Veteran Affairs.

Throughout 2018–19, VAHI ensured that all government reporting data were submitted within the mandated timeframes. We also improved the efficiency of these processes, leading to improved timeliness, accuracy and relevancy of the reports.

Collecting patient experiences to drive patient-centred care

The Victorian Healthcare Experience Survey (VHES) program surveys recent users of Victorian public health services to collect patient experience information. The survey supports efforts across the health system to move from disease-centred to patient-centred care, by getting a better-informed picture of what matters to patients.

When VAHI took on responsibility for the VHES program in 2017, we commissioned an independent review to identify opportunities for reform and improvement. The reforms will increase patient and health service participation in the program and improve the quality and usefulness of the patient experience data collected.

Feedback from Victorian public health services indicated that they wanted more than patient experience results – they also wanted insights into the data. In September 2018, we began distributing a quarterly VHES voice newsletter to provide key results and insights with each data release. We also started producing VHES insights reports for Victorian public health services, which analyse results for a particular aspect of patient experience. We have received positive feedback about the VHES insights from health services that have found it helpful in deciding which aspects of care to focus on for improvement.

Small and local Victorian public health services found that their small population sizes were limiting access to patient experience data due to the thresholds for reporting, which required a minimum of 42 responses. VAHI reduced the threshold for reporting and, to increase participation in the survey, began surveying all eligible patients (instead of just a sample) who attended these health services.

VAHI began collecting patient experience feedback for palliative care services in October 2018. Patients and carers were invited to provide feedback on their experience of care in hospital or in-home care. Bereaved carers were also invited to provide feedback.

Linking data for better cardiac outcomes

VAHI, with the New South Wales Government, has implemented the Delivering Better Cardiac Outcomes: Primary, Specialist and Hospital Care project. This is one of 16 projects generated from linked data created under the National Data Linkage Demonstration Project (NDLDP).

The NDLDP brought together state-based public hospital admissions data with national data from the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS), Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and National Death Index (NDI) into one dataset. It involved more than seven billion records of health data for more than 10 million individuals from Victoria and New South Wales.

The NDLDP was developed to provide advice to the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) on the feasibility, benefits and accountabilities of arrangements that could be adopted for multi-jurisdictional data linkage, including access to and use of the data.

In June 2019, VAHI released Delivering better cardiac outcomes in Victoria. The report outlines the use of clinically recommended medication by Victorians with atrial fibrillation (AF) or acute myocardial infarction (AMI) following discharge from a public hospital.

The report showed low use of medications recommended by evidence-based guidelines that reduce the risk of complications following an AMI or episode of AF, including stroke and death. It also showed variation in rates of dispensing for these medications between Victorian public hospitals. These findings can be used to drive improvements in practice that lead to better cardiac health outcomes.

VAHI partnered with clinicians, academics, government and experts in using big data on this project. It was the first time that Australian population-level linked Commonwealth and state health data have been used to investigate care pathways for patients with AF and AMI, from hospital admission through to discharge and post-discharge.

The project demonstrated that this new data linkage can enable the evaluation of patient care pathways across hospital and community-based health services. This can provide information to identify gaps between evidence and practice and variations in care in Australia.

The linked dataset used for this project is being refined and we expect there will be an opportunity to use the data to look at other clinical areas for future reports.


Patient Experience Roadshow travels across Victoria

Throughout November and December 2018, VAHI partnered with SCV for the Patient Experience Roadshow. The team travelled more than 1,800 km to hold 14 workshops at regional and metropolitan Victorian public health services.

During the roadshow, more than 200 attendees (including board members, CEOs, executive, clinicians, educators, researchers and consumers) learnt more about the VHES program and the reforms.

Through discussions in the workshops, VAHI is now better informed about how public health services use the VHES data. We were enthused by how widely patient experience data are being used, from supporting quality and safety initiatives through to reporting, education and training, and funding and bid applications.

VAHI also asked public health services about the usefulness of the current VHES questionnaires and whether some questions were more important than others in driving quality and safety improvements. This input will be critical as we reform the surveys.

By visiting public health services across Victoria, the VAHI team gained a deeper understanding of the unique challenges facing small and local services.

Sites visited by roadshow. Swan Hill, Shepparton, Bendigo, Horsham, Ballarat, Geelong, Warrnambool, Warragul, Bairnsdale, Wangaratta, Sunshine, Box Hill, Frankston and Epping.
Sites visited by roadshow.

The next steps of VAHI’s reforms to the VHES program will include strategies tailored for these small and local services to maximise the collection and use of this important data.

Feedback from the roadshow indicates that it increased participants’ ability to understand and use patient experience data to develop reporting tools that can be shared with staff and patients.

Following the success of the first roadshow, VAHI expects to hold the Patient Experience Roadshow again in 2019–20 with a focus on community health data.

Page last updated: 13 Nov 2019

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