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Posted on 04 Jun 2019

As part of our role to deliver high quality data and information on health service and system performance, VAHI is working with Primary Health Networks and data providers to explore data linkage between general practice and tertiary health services.

It is not common practice for these data to be linked, creating gaps in understanding the patient journey. Linking this data provides a platform to drive improvements in care and health outcomes by making available practice-relevant, high quality information about patient journeys through the healthcare system.

VAHI has played a leading role in a National Data Linkage Demonstration Project, commissioned by the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council, which brought together of hospital admitted patient care data with MBS and PBS data. This project confirmed that data linkage can enable evaluation of patient care pathways across both hospital and community-based services.

GP practices and Primary Health Networks collect rich data on patient care that can be added into this linkage work. Linking this data would further enhance the knowledge base and could transform our ability to manage quality and effectiveness at a system, provider and clinician level.

VAHI is currently looking at what data are available and what barriers there are to better integrating and sharing important information on patients and outcomes.

The outcomes of this work have the potential to enhance the capacity of clinicians, system planners, clinical networks and service providers to identify and promote best practice clinical pathways. At a patient level, it could be of immense assistance to GPs and hospital-based services to better inform improvements in care by identifying evidence-practice gaps, variations in care and patient outcomes.

With so many different data systems in use, we recognise this is a complex exercise and the need to ensure patient privacy remains paramount. Some health services have already carried out local pilot projects, but we want to develop a sustainable and collaborative framework that facilitates broader data linkage.   

We will report back to you on our findings from our initial investigations and will start to develop a structured model that could be applied across Victoria.

For further information, please contact Kira Leeb, Executive Director, Health and System Performance Reporting, via kira.leeb@vahi.vic.gov.au.

Page last updated: 04 Jun 2019