VAHI works closely with Victorian health services to ensure the best use of data, information, indicators and reporting to benefit Victorians. But we don’t operate in vacuum. Australia has a long-established network of intergovernmental committees that aim to promote cooperation between states, territories and the Commonwealth – with the goal that all Australians receive the best possible healthcare, wherever they live.
When these intergovernmental committees talk data and information, VAHI adds the Victorian perspective to the national debate.
Across 2019, VAHI CEO Dr Lance Emerson, chaired a working group dedicated to enhanced health data across Australia, as part of the new National Health Reform Agreement 2020–2025. This national role follows on from VAHI’s previous work on a national data linkage demonstration project, where VAHI (with New South Wales) looked at five linked datasets to gain new insights into prescribing patterns for cardiac patients.
Lance is advocating for the Commonwealth to allow increased access to Medicare Benefits Schedule and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme data for the purpose of linkage within Victoria, via the Centre for Victorian Data Linkage, an accredited linkage agency.
“Access to these data would give Victoria the capacity to generate critical information and insights on patient care, particularly in relation to pharmacotherapy and post-discharge care. Coupled with the brilliant analysts we have within the sector, Victoria really has the capacity to lead the country in healthcare analytics – the ultimate benefit of this is improved patient care,” he said.
VAHI also coordinates Victoria’s participation in the National Integrated Health Services Information Analysis Asset, run by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. This is an opportunity to access an existing national linked dataset that includes primary, acute, aged care and deaths information. VAHI is working with the Department of Health and Human Services and Safer Care Victoria to develop proposals to use the dataset and connect with colleagues in other states and territories already working on projects of interest.
VAHI’s involvement in national committees and the national data agenda extends beyond linkage, to areas including clinical quality registries, patient-reported outcomes and hospital acquired complications. Stay tuned to further editions of VAHI news for updates on the national data conversation.