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Our performance

Our 20 performance indicators comprise both qualitative and quantitative measures underpinning our strategic goals and are published in:

Figure 1.1 shows the relationships between the Portfolio Budget Statements, our corporate plan and our annual performance statements. Figure 1.2 shows our integrated performance framework.

We report quarterly through our Risk, Audit and Finance Committee (RAFC) to the AIHW Board on progress against our performance measures and strategic priority actions. This reporting enables the early identification of emerging issues and risks and provides the opportunity to develop appropriate actions.

In 2019–20, we improved the robustness of our processes for the collection of evidence to substantiate performance results following feedback received from an internal audit conducted in 2018–19. This evidence-based approach provides greater assurance to the RAFC and the board on the accuracy of our performance reporting.

Figure 1.1: Relationships between Portfolio Budget Statements, Corporate plan and Annual performance statement Portfolio budget statements flow down to the our purpose as set out in our corporate plan which flows down to our annual performance statement (annual report) which flows down to our strategic goals

Figure 1.2: AIHW's Integrated performance framework Our integrated performance framework shows how our capabilities and our environment, as set out in our corporate plan flows through our priority action areas and strategic goals to enable us to achieve our vision of stronger evidence, better decisions, improved health and welfare. In turn this enables us to achieve our purpose to create authoritative and accessible information and statistics that inform decisions and improve the health and welfare of all Australians.

Summary of performance

In 2019–20, we fully achieved 15 of our 20 performance measures, partially achieved 3 and
did not meet 2 measures. A summary of these results is provided in Table 1.1: Summary of results against performance measures.
We have included data for 5 years, where available, to demonstrate comparative assessment
of our performance.

Table 1.1: Summary of results against performance measures

Performance measures

Results

Release of products by 30 June 2020 relating to 8 specified topics

Partially achieved

Release a range of data and information products relevant to key policy areas:

  • release 181 products

Partially achieved

  • ensure ≥70% of statistical products relating to annual national collections are released less than 1 year after the end of their data collection period

Not achieved

Provide data for performance indicators in the Council of Australia Governments (COAG) national agreements on health care and Indigenous reform by 30 June 2020

Achieved

Supply data to timetables required for the Review of Government Service Provision’s Report on Government Services (RoGS) 2020 volumes on health, housing and homelessness, and community services

Achieved

Add new data assets by 30 June 2020

Achieved

Release products presenting the results of linked data from 3 national cancer screening programs by 30 June 2020

Achieved

Complete the third phase of work to improve storage, accessibility and analysis of locational data in AIHW data holdings

Achieved

Finalise governance arrangements for the National Integrated Health Services Information Analysis Asset (NIHSI AA) and provide access to participating jurisdictions

Achieved

3.9 million sessions on the AIHW website

Achieved

4,600 references to the AIHW and its products in the media

Achieved

Continually improve the AIHW website and the provision of data

Achieved

Build the Indigenous Community Insights (data hub) to provide population data, health data and health service use by Indigenous Australians at different levels of geography

Not achieved

Release Australia’s welfare 2019 and Australia’s health 2020 in new digital formats to target a wider audience

Partially achieved

Complete 60 data linkage projects as agreed under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy 2013

Achieved

Work with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) towards the Coordination of Health Care (CHC) study to continue with the release of a range of products, including Hospital and Emergency Department Services data, by 30 June 2020

Achieved

Improve data in at least 1 subject area where there is a demonstrable data gap

Achieved

Work with the Children and Families Secretaries (CAFS) to finalise and commence implementation of the National Child Safety Data Improvement Plan (NDIP)

Achieved

Commence reporting under the Australian Health Performance Framework (AHPF), including the establishment of a web-based platform to act as the ‘national front door’ to health system performance information

Achieved

Identify priority data gaps and develop an approach for addressing data gaps

Achieved

Table 1.2: Details of results against performance measures

1. Leaders in health and welfare data

Measure

Release products by 30 June 2020 relating to 8 specified topics.

Context

Release a range of data and information products relevant to key policy areas.

Result

Partially achieved. We released 6 of 8 products. Admitted hospital patient care was completed and released on 9 July 2020. Although Australia’s health 2020 was completed by 30 June 2020, its release was deferred to 23 July 2020 to enable information on COVID-19 to be incorporated into the report.

Products released by 30 June 2020:

Released on:

  • Australia’s welfare 2019

11 September 2019

  • health expenditure in 2017–18

25 September 2019

  • residential and community mental health services in 2017–18

11 December 2019

  • child protection in 2018–19

18 March 2020

  • youth justice in 2018–19

15 May 2020

  • disability support services in 2018–19

22 May 2020

The following products were released after 30 June 2020:

  • admitted hospital patient care in 2018–19

9 July 2020

  • Australia’s health 2020

23 July 2020

Analysis: We release products that inform stakeholders—in particular, policymakers—in the health and welfare sectors, including disability, child protection and mental health. Products are developed in consultation and collaboration with stakeholders in government agencies and NGOs to ensure their needs are met. Placing national information on key policy areas in the public domain ensures informed debate, discussion and decision making by governments and NGOs.

Measure

Release 181 products.

Context

Release a range of data and information products relevant to key policy areas.

Result

Partially achieved.

The AIHW released 172 products in 2019–20 (Figure 1.3). Due to the impact of COVID-19 on some of our data suppliers, and some AIHW staff being redeployed to the Department of Health’s National Incident Room and other agencies, the release of a few products was deferred from the final quarter of 2019–20 to the first quarter of 2020–21. A list of products is provided at Appendix 1.

Analysis: Our products inform governments, NGOs and the Australian and international community on the health, welfare and housing status of Australians by providing contemporary data and information through a range of different formats, including printed publications and online data visualisations. Online data products are updated regularly to support users in keeping up to date on trends and patterns; for example, at different levels of geography.


Figure 1.3: Products released, 2015–16 to 2019–20 column graph showing products released since 2015–16. 2015–16 Target 151 Achieved 182, 2016–17 Target 161 Achieved 188, 2017–18 Target 176 Achieved 218, 2018–19 Target 181 Achieved 181, 2019–20 Target 181 Achieved 172

Measure

Ensure ≥70% of statistical products relating to annual national collections are released less than 1 year after the end of their data collection period.

Context

Assist reporting of, or report on, nationally agreed performance indicators.

Result

Not achieved. We released 16 out of 26 products (61.5%) relating to annual national collections within a 1-year timeframe.

Analysis: We strive to improve our timeliness by working with our stakeholders to reduce the lag between the end of a reference period and the release date. We also continue to improve our internal processes to improve our timeliness. However, this year there were problems with the supply of data from some external suppliers due to the impact of COVID-19. These problems led to backlogs in AIHW analyses of data and subsequent delays to the release of 3 Australian hospitals products from the original scheduled release date in May to 9 July.

Measure

Provide data for performance indicators in the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) national agreements on health care and Indigenous reform by 30 June 2020.

Context

Assist reporting of, or report on, nationally agreed performance indicators.

Result

Achieved. Data for 2019–20 were supplied in accordance with agreed timeframes for the National Healthcare Agreement and the National Indigenous Reform Agreement.

Analysis: As Australia’s national agency for health and welfare data, we demonstrate leadership through the collation and provision of data to COAG to enable it to measure performance in national agreements. Data we provided contributed to informing Australia’s performance in meeting Indigenous Closing the Gap targets and on the performance of the health system.

Measure

Supply data to timetables required for the Review of Government Service Provision’s Report on Government Services (RoGS) 2020 volumes on health, housing and homelessness, and community services.

Context

Assist reporting of, or report on, nationally agreed performance indicators.

Result

Achieved. Data for 2019–20 were supplied in accordance with agreed timeframes set by the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision.

Analysis: As a national leader for health and welfare data, we continued to build community trust through the timely collation and provision of data for annual RoGS reporting of information on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of government services in Australia in the areas of health, housing and homelessness, and community services.

Summary for strategic goal 1:

2 out of 5 measures achieved.

2 . Drivers of data improvements

Measure

Add new data assets by 30 June 2020.

Context

Enhance data resources with the addition of new data assets to the AIHW’s data holdings.

Result

Achieved.

The AIHW Ethics Committee approved the addition of 9 new data assets:

  • Australian Burden of Disease Database
  • BreastScreen Australia Database
  • Cancer and Treatment Linked Analysis Asset: phase 1
  • Comcare Online Data Asset
  • Military Health Outcomes Program Data Collection
  • Military Health Outcomes Program Identifiers Collection
  • My Health Record system data for data assessment purposes
  • Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme Identifiers Data Collection
  • Veterans Historical Identifiers Data Collection.

Analysis: The AIHW has made a concerted effort, in collaboration with stakeholders, to identify and fill data gaps. Creating new data assets adds value to the data landscape as it provides researchers with access to new or improved resources to support their analysis in a wider range of subject areas. The AIHW provided greater opportunities to grow the evidence base.

Summary for strategic goal 2:

1 out of 1 measure achieved.

3 . Expert sources of value-added analysis

Measure

Release products presenting the results of linked data from 3 national cancer screening programs by 30 June 2020.

Context

Enhance data analysis capabilities.

Result

Achieved. Analysis of cervical cancer and abnormality outcomes in an era of cervical screening and HPV vaccination in Australiawas released on 2 September 2019.

Analysis: This is an Australian-first project combining data from the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, BreastScreen Australia, and the National Cervical Screening Program as well as the Australian Cancer Database, the National Death Index and the National HPV Vaccination Program Register. The report provided value to policymakers as it showed that young women who missed out on the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in Australia are also more likely to have missed out on cervical screening.

"We need to encourage all women to have a Cervical Screening Test every five years as four out of five women who develop cervical cancer have either never screened or do not screen regularly." Ms Melissa Ledger, Cancer Council WA.

Products relating to the 2 other national cancer screening programs—breast cancer and bowel cancer—were released in 2018–19.

Measure

Complete the third phase of work to improve storage, accessibility and analysis of locational data in AIHW data holdings.

Context

Enhance data analysis capabilities.

Result

Achieved. The ABS locational reference data were loaded into the database which completes the third phase of this work. We completed the first and second phases in 2017–18 and 2018–19, respectively.

Analysis: This capability brings AIHW’s geospatial resources, data and spatial projects into a secure environment for referencing and collaboration.

Measure

Finalise governance arrangements for the National Integrated Health Services Information Analysis Asset (NIHSI AA) and provide access to participating jurisdictions.

Context

Enhance data analysis capabilities.

Result

Achieved. Governance protocols for the NIHSI AA have been agreed with participating jurisdictions. We agreed on the joint Data Breach Response Plan with the Department of Health.

Analysis: The NIHSI AA was available for participating jurisdictions through our Data Integration Services Centre Laboratory. A copy of the NIHISI AA was transferred to the Department of Health’s Enterprise Data Warehouse to enable access by analysts from the department.

Associated systems and security arrangements for access to NIHSI are underway.

Measure

Attain 3.9 million sessions on the AIHW website.

Context

Disseminate AIHW analysis publicly through our website and the media.

Result

Achieved. There were 4,447,359 sessions on our main website, www.aihw.gov.au, an increase of 8.5% from 2018–19 (Figure 1.4).

Analysis: Our website is the main channel for AIHW information, including our PDF and HTML reports, other data-related outputs, our services and corporate information. Enhancements to the AIHW website have been developed to improve the user experience. Increased visitor traffic reflects the greater use of the AIHW’s products.

Figure 1.4: AIHW website sessions 2015–16 to 2019–20 Column graph showing the number of sessions on our main website since 2015–16 compared with the annual target. 2015–16 Target 2,800,000 Achieved 2,924,484, 2016–17 Target 3,100,000 Achieved 3,042,955, 2017–18 Target 3,300,000 Achieved 2,939,038, 2018–19 Target 3,600,000 Achieved 4,100,000, 2019–20 Target 3,900,000 Achieved 4,447,359

Measure

Attain 4,600 references to the AIHW and its products in the media.

Context

Disseminate AIHW analysis publicly through our website and the media.

Result

Achieved. There were 5,046 mentions in print, radio, television and online media (Figure 1.5).

Analysis: AIHW product releases are frequently mentioned in print and digital media. The reporting of our products in the media demonstrates the vital role we play as a leader in health and welfare data and statistics. While the target was met, media coverage was at its lowest level since 2015–16 following 3 previous years of growth. The reduction in media coverage in the second half of 2019–20 may be attributed to the media focus on COVID-19 and a reduction in our products releases (Chapter 2:Media coverage).

In addition to media coverage of releases, our products are also cited in articles on specific issues in mainstream and industry media, where they are seen as a go-to source of authoritative information.

Summary for strategic goal 3:

5 out of 5 measures achieved.

Figure 1.5: Media references to AIHW Column graph showing the number of media mentions since 2015–16 compared with the annual target 2015–16 Target 7,000 Achieved 3,529, 2016–17 Target 4,600 Achieved 5,354, 2017–18 Target 4,300 Achieved 5,470, 2018–19 Target 4,600 Achieved 6167, 2019–20 Target 4600 Achieved 5046

4 . Champions for open and accessible data and information

Measure

Continually improve the AIHW website and the provision of data.

Context

Modernise presentation of national health- and welfare-related data and analysis.

Result

Achieved. The MyHospitals website was shut down on 31 March and its content migrated to the AIHW website.

Analysis: Functionality of the AIHW website improved with the addition of an application to access to the MyHospitals section of the website. This new functionality benefited large organisations, like private health insurers, who tend to retrieve all hospital data in a single download.

Measure

Build the Indigenous Community Insights (data hub) to provide population data, health data and health service use by Indigenous Australians at different levels of geography.

Context

Modernise presentation of national health- and welfare-related data and analysis.

Result

Not achieved. The Regional Insights for Indigenous Communities website is under development.

Analysis: Finalisation of the website was delayed due to technical staff being allocated to other priorities as a result of COVID-19.

The data hub will allow data to be presented at different levels of geography, including local areas, where possible. User testing with a broad range of Indigenous and other key stakeholders, as well as members of the Coalition of Peaks, was undertaken. Feedback from the user testing is being used to improve the website.

The first release of the website, which is now planned for November 2020, will focus on presenting health data.

Measure

Release Australia’s welfare 2019 and Australia’s health 2020 in new digital formats to target a wider audience.

Context

Modernise presentation of national health- and welfare-related data and analysis.

Result

Partially achieved.

Analysis: The new formats for our flagship reports greatly improve the accessibility of data and information in health and welfare through an improved interactive experience. See Spotlight: Australia's welfare 2019 for more information on the launch and format of Australia’s welfare 2019.

Australia’s welfare 2019 was released on 11 September 2019 in the new flagship format with multiple products—online snapshots and indicators, and the printed Australia’s welfare 2019: in brief and Australia’s welfare 2019: data insights. Snapshots and indicators use interactive Tableau visualisations and are available exclusively online, allowing more flexibility in access and use of content. The new data insights report was produced with a specific target audience in mind (that is, policy and decision makers in social services).

Australia’s health 2020 was provided to the Minister for Health on 30 June in accordance with the AIHW Act, and was released on 23 July 2020. Although Australia’s health 2020 was completed by 30 June, its release was deferred to enable information on COVID-19 to be incorporated into the report. Australia’s health 2020 was produced in a new multi-product format and included 71 online snapshots, Australia’s health 2020: in brief and Australia’s health 2020: data insights.

Measure

Complete 60 data linkage projects as agreed under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy 2013.

Context

Provide access to data and information in an environment that supports stringent governance, capability, data management and privacy requirements.

Result

Achieved. We completed 82 data linkage projects in 2019–20. This was an increase of 13.9% from 2018–19 (Figure 1.6).

Analysis: As an accredited Commonwealth Integrated Authority holding over 160 data assets, we lead data linkage projects across multiple data sets for use by governments and researchers (see page 31). Demand for linked data is growing and we have increased our capacity to undertake more complex data linkage projects to meet this demand. We have expanded the AIHW National Linkage Map making repeat linkages more efficient, improved project assessment processes and developed automated checking procedures to reduce manual process. We expect this demand to continue; in particular, with the impact of COVID-19 driving new research projects.

Summary for strategic goal 4:

2 out of 4 measures achieved.

Figure 1.6: Completed requests for data linkage 2015–16 to 2019–20 Column graph showing the number of data linkages completed compared to the annual target 2015–16 Target 30 Achieved 33, 2016–17 Target 30 Achieved 51, 2017–18 Target 40 Achieved 61, 2018–19 Target 60 Achieved 72, 2019–20 Target 60 Achieved 82

5 . Trusted strategic partners

Measure

Work with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) towards the Coordination of Health Care (CHC) study to continue with the release of a range of products including hospital and emergency department services data by 30 June 2020.

Context

Work with partners to drive data improvement.

Result

Achieved. The Coordination of health care: experiences of information sharing between providers for patients aged 45 and over 2016 was released on 5 July 2019.

The Coordination of Health Care study: use of hospitals and emergency departments, Australia 2015–16 was released on the ABS website on 21 November 2019. The Microdata: Health care, integrated hospital and emergency department, 2014–2018 was released on 9 April 2020 and is available through ABS’s DataLab.

All hospital linked data from the state and territory governments have been received and linked to the 2016 Survey of Health Care.

Analysis: The CHC study was undertaken through a partnership between the ABS and the AIHW. The study fills an important data gap by providing information on patients’ health-care experiences in Australia and improves our understanding of the patterns of health-care use and their relationship to patient outcomes. The study supported local reporting on patient experiences of coordination and continuity of health care and identified areas for improvement.

[The report] shows that Australia still has some way to go to ensure our healthcare is accessible and works effectively for all Australians [and] highlights the intractable problems that emerge when people move between care systems.

Ms Leanne Wells, CEO, Consumers Health Forum

Measure

Improve data in at least 1 subject area where there is a demonstrable data gap.

Context

Work with partners to drive data improvement.

Result

Achieved. To achieve our strategic directions, we collaborate with our key stakeholders across the health and welfare sectors to identify and fill data gaps.

Analysis: In 2019–20, we:

  • developed key terms and definitions in relation to child sexual abuse for the purpose of data collection and reporting to progress recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
  • significantly improved the availability of linked data relating to patient pathways and interactions across the health and aged care systems with the development of NIHSI AA
  • released products for the 2019–20 Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHSC) data with new and modified data items added to the collection
  • released data cubes containing 2011–12 to 2018–19 SHSC data which allow user manipulation of data
  • developed options for a national elder abuse service-level data and reporting system in consultation with 6 jurisdictions and investigated the potential for state and territory elder abuse helpline data to inform the impact of COVID-19 on elder abuse.

Measure

Work with the Children and Families Secretaries (CAFS) to finalise and commence implementation of the National Child Safety Data Improvement Plan (NDIP).

Context

Work with partners to drive data improvement.

Result

Achieved. The AIHW developed the NDIP in consultation with the CAFS’s Strategic Information Group. This group is co-chaired by Mr Barry Sandison, the AIHW CEO, and Ms Simone Walker from the New South Wales Department of Communities and Justice. CAFS endorsed the NDIP in January 2020.

Analysis: The Strategic Information Group is leading the implementation of the NDIP over the next 5 years. Some planned projects were delayed because CAFS reprioritised some national work to direct jurisdictions’ efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. National work under the plan will ensure that core time series data are available to the public.

Measure

Commence reporting under the Australian Health Performance Framework (AHPF), including the establishment of a web-based platform to act as the ‘national front door’ to health system performance information.

Context

Work with partners to drive data improvement

Result

Achieved. On 11 December 2019, the AIHW released the AHPF ‘national front door’, which serves as a navigation aid for people seeking information about the performance of the health system. Data were updated and included reporting at additional levels of geography for Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and population disaggregations, where available.

Analysis: The AHPF is a framework for reporting on the health of Australians, the performance of health care in Australia and the Australian health system. It has been endorsed by Australia’s health ministers. Development of 35 of 45 AHPF indicator specifications was completed and endorsed by the National Health Data and Information Standards Committee (NHDISC) on 8 April 2020. The remaining 10 specifications are in development. Work slowed on AHPF indicator development due to a reduction in the availability of staff following the reprioritising of tasks to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Measure

Identify priority data gaps and develop an approach for addressing data gaps.

Context

Work with partners to drive data improvement.

Result

Achieved. We demonstrated our role as a trusted strategic partner by working with our key stakeholders across health and welfare to identify data gaps and develop approaches for filling them.

Analysis: Some examples of how we worked with our stakeholders in 2019–20 include:

  • No data are available for 5 of the 21 measures for reporting against the Better Cardiac Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and only partial reporting is possible for a number of the other measures. We held a workshop with Indigenous and other relevant experts in the field and produced a data development plan.
  • We engaged with homelessness service providers to identify people seeking homelessness assistance for reasons related to bushfires and COVID-19 in the SHSC.
  • Development of data collection and reporting arrangements began for the mandatory National Aged Care Quality Indicator Program.

Summary for strategic goal 5:

5 out of 5 measures achieved.