Findings from a newly released OECD report says Australia needs to collect more information to measure the quality of care that hospitals provide to patients nationally. The OECD’s review of Australia’s health system, released today, said that while Australia had improved its national standards for health care, a surprising lack of data on the quality and outcomes of care marks out Australia from its peers.
Australia’s National Health Performance Authority’s currently reports on the performance of over 1,000 public and private hospitals on a range of indicators, including emergency department waiting times, types of surgery and rates of infection, through its MyHospitals website (www.myhospitals.gov.au).
To improve the quality of its health care system, the OECD Report suggests Australia should also:
- Build on the Practice Incentives Programme with a more robust blended payment system comprising more indicators of quality and outcomes, to provide GPs with financial incentives to improve the quality of care and patient outcomes;
- Require GPs to begin reporting data on a wide range of indicators linked to quality and patient outcomes and publish more indicators of quality online, including hospital-level data for adverse events and the results of patient experience surveys for public and private hospitals;
- Expand the scope and alignment of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards not only in hospitals, but also across primary health care, long-term care and mental health services;
- Improve the quality of rural and remote health care by extending Australia’s basic information set on health service needs, service use and outcomes to rural and remote settings.
Read full report: OECD Review of Health Care Quality: Australia