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Graphical element for delivering the foundations

Our work during 2019–20 focused on building and enhancing our strong foundational systems, processes and capabilities. This work ensured our data is managed, improved and accessible, and it allowed us to deliver greater value to our partners and stakeholders. With these strong foundations in place, our work will continue to improve the quality and safety of Victoria’s health system.

Evolving to a single trusted source of data

The evolution of VAHI’s Information Management Environment (VIME), including the VAHI Portal, continued rapidly in 2019–20. We are pleased to report that we are significantly closer to a single trusted source of data provided by VAHI.

VIME will provide the information management infrastructure to enable data storage, processing, analytics and enhanced online reporting capabilities. It will:

  • facilitate consistent data use across VAHI, the Department and SCV
  • allow for greater access to timely data
  • provide enhanced data visualisations to our partners and stakeholders.

In November 2019, we launched our new Victorian Health Services Performance (VHSP) website for the Victorian community. The website has improved users’ experiences, with easier navigation, easy-to-understand language and improved data visualisations. Victorians can see results at a glance and drill down to more granular data if they wish.

Soon after release of the public VHSP website, we commenced an eight-week pilot of the VAHI Portal with health services. The pilot received strong interest, with 115 participants across 20 health services keen to explore the Portal and provide feedback. We implemented several recommendations from the pilot, including a guided tour when a user logs in for the first time. We were pleased to officially launch the Portal to all Victorian health services in March 2020.

The Portal has played an important role in VAHI’s contribution to Victoria’s COVID-19 response. Victorian health services can access reports relating to suspected COVID-19 emergency department presentations, testing and symptomatic cases by local government area, and surveillance of notifiable conditions in Victoria. We’ve seen significant interest in COVID-19 data, with more than 2,000 unique views of the Portal’s COVID-19 landing page to date. In collaboration with the Department, VAHI will introduce additional COVID-19-specific reports for health services and the Department during the coming months.

Delivering meaningful, timely and trusted information

VAHI developed a reporting strategy for 2019–20 to guide enhancements to our routine reporting program. These enhancements were in direct response to feedback received from our partners and stakeholders, with an objective of providing meaningful, timely and trusted information about performance, quality and safety.

In line with the strategy, many new enhancements were introduced, including a redesigned Board safety and quality report in November 2019, with additional visualisations and a dashboard to provide comparisons at a glance so boards can quickly interpret meaningful data. VAHI also developed 11 new measures for the Inspire: Mental health report to provide important new aspects of quality and safety for clinicians to consider when benchmarking performance against their peers.

Feedback on changes to these reports from our partners and stakeholders has been positive. Building on these successes, VAHI will continue to seek opportunities to further improve the effectiveness of our reports.

In addition to enhancements to our reporting products, we continued to release our regular reporting suite to health services. Over the course of 2019–20, we produced 2,716 individual reports for health services to drive improvements in quality and safety across Victoria.

Driving best practice in information management

VAHI has many functions related to the use of sensitive data. Our information management practices ensure that we handle and govern the data we use in compliance with all relevant legislation and policies. We share data and information as much as possible to support system improvements, while protecting the privacy of patients and organisations.

This year, we drove best practice in information management in many ways. We refined our information management framework and policy to protect the privacy of patients and organisations when any data or information is shared. To allow for greater transparency, we published procedures that document the way we use information and data to perform our core business functions. We have also made significant progress in documenting specifications and calculations for all measures we report to aid analysis. These initiatives each contribute to enhancing our credibility as a trusted source of information and data.

Further work in documenting and refining information management procedures during 2020–21 will extend across the full range of VAHI’s business activities.

Spotlight

Public access to performance data

Image of the VAHI Portal

The VHSP report provides health performance data to the Victorian community each quarter. It is the main way VAHI reports health service performance to the Victorian community. The accuracy and accessibility of this information for Victorians is a key component of VAHI’s commitment to the transparent reporting of health service performance.

The old VHSP website, in operation since 2011, was retired, and replaced by the VAHI Portal in November 2019. The new website has delivered more efficient processes to update website content and deliver information in a modern and more accessible way.

The Portal also enables VAHI to meet the public’s need for user-friendly health performance data. Making this information accessible to more Victorians is a key driver of our work, and the Portal will continue to deliver enhanced value in the coming years.

 

Spotlight

Easier access to our data with the VAHI Data Request Hub

Image of the Data Request Hub

The VAHI Data Request Hub is a customer-centred service designed to connect stakeholders with answers to their health data questions. The Hub is a flagship example of how we are delivering on our mission of providing trusted information for better decisions.

Before July 2019, VAHI often received ad hoc data requests through several channels, including emails, phone calls and outdated forms scattered across several legacy websites. The new Hub provides a single starting point for consumers, clinicians, health services and government agencies to connect with a VAHI analyst and describe their needs.

The Hub simplifies the process for submitting and tracking requests. It is accessible through both desktop and mobile, connects the requester with an assigned VAHI analyst, and enables customer feedback throughout the process.

In 2019–20, we invested in streamlining our customer response, improving efficiency, and tracking progress at a more granular level. This year also saw the delivery of the new VAHI Secure Data Exchange platform to ensure the safe and simple transfer of sensitive files to requesters.

These innovations, among others, have increased our capacity to deliver more data requests with high customer satisfaction. In 2019–20, the Hub processed 694 data requests, up 18% from 2018–19. Requests spanned many topics, including hospital, mental health, perinatal, population health and, more recently, COVID-19-related datasets. Our data insights have been particularly powerful in supporting the Department, with more than 50% of this year’s data requests coming from departmental staff. From these requests, we have provided timely data analysis that has shaped service improvements across a range of health system areas, contributing to our mission of delivering trusted information to inform better decisions that improve health and wellbeing of Victorians. Users are generally pleased with their experience of the Hub, with 75% of users rating their experience as positive.

After a successful first year, further developments to the Hub are on the horizon. We will review the efficiency of our processes and reporting of data requests to ensure greater understanding of our work, including how we can streamline ongoing data requests for provision of regular data products. The development of a targeted cost-recovery model to ensure long-term sustainability has been under way since February 2020 and will inform a broader rollout across VAHI.

 

Page last updated: 26 Oct 2020

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