Safety and Quality > Our Work > Information Strategy > National arrangements for clinical quality registries

Australia has limited capacity to measure and monitor the degree to which health care benefits the patient (effectiveness) and how closely that care aligns with evidence-based practice (appropriateness). Clinical quality registries are organisations which monitor and report on the appropriateness and effectiveness of health care. Currently however, only a small number of data collections capture and report process and outcomes data for specific clinical conditions or interventions. The development of a number of high-priority national registries, within national arrangements, has the potential to address the current gap in health care quality measurement and inform improvements in the quality of patient care.

A Framework for Australian Clinical Quality Registries

The Commission has developed the Framework for Australian Clinical Quality Registries (the Framework) in collaboration with the states and territories and expert registry groups. The Framework, endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) in March 2014, describes national arrangements for clinical quality registries.

The Framework describes a mechanism by which jurisdictions can authorise and secure record-level data, within high-priority clinical domains, to measure, monitor and report on the appropriateness and effectiveness of health care. The information can be used to inform improvements in healthcare quality and safety within those domains. In addition to improved patient outcomes, the use of clinical quality registries significantly improves compliance with evidence-based guidelines and standards, and informs the development of new guidelines and standards.

Application of the Framework to registries provides assurances to jurisdictions, private hospital groups, clinicians and patients, that registry data and the systems that hold those data have satisfied minimum security, technical and operating standards.

For more information about the Framework, see the Framework for Australian clinical quality registries page.

For more information on clinical quality registries see the What are clinical quality registries page.

Current work

The Commission intends to work with the states and territories to identify high-priority clinical domains for the development of national clinical quality registries within the Framework.

Strategic & Operating Principles

In November 2010 the Australian Health Ministers’ Conference (AHMC) endorsed the Strategic and Operating Principles for Australian Clinical Quality Registries, for a national approach to Australian clinical quality registries.

Technical Resources

A number of technical resources have been developed, including an update to the Technical Standards for Australian Clinical Quality Registries. The Commission encourages the use of these resources in the development of new registries and when upgrading existing registries.

The Commission welcomes feedback on these documents via


In September 2007 the AHMAC noted the Commission’s recommendations on Australian clinical quality registries:

  • that a limited number of good clinical quality registries are vital to improve the overall outcomes of clinical care;
  • that the Commission proposes to establish and validate national operating standards for clinical quality registries;
  • that work on the operating standards will proceed with the advice and involvement of the Inter-Jurisdictional Committee of the Commission and other experts.

In November 2010, Health Ministers noted that the Commission would draft national arrangements for clinical quality registries.