Safety and Quality > Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation Series

The Third Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation

The Third Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation, due for publication in late 2018, will examine variation in four clinical areas:

  • cardiac tests
  • thyroid investigations and treatments
  • gastrointestinal investigations and treatments
  • paediatric and neonatal health

This Atlas follows the releases of the second Atlas in June 2017 and the first Atlas in November 2015.

Objective

The Atlas series identifies variations in the use of health care by mapping use according to where people live.  Each Atlas also identifies possible reasons for variation, prompts investigation for unwarranted variation and identifies specific achievable actions aimed at improving the appropriateness of care.

Consultation and Partnership

Development of each Atlas involves extensive consultation across the states, territories and Commonwealth.  We are currently working closely with clinical topic experts, jurisdictional representatives, primary care experts, consumers and the private sector to develop the content and provide project oversight for the third Atlas. Members of the jurisdictional advisory group and topic expert groups are listed here.

The Commission has partnered with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

(the AIHW) in the development of the third Atlas. The AIHW is conducting data extraction and analysis, with data sourced from the National Hospital Morbidity Database, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Database, Medicare Benefits Schedule Database and the National Perinatal Data Collection.

 

New topics in the third Atlas

Cardiac tests

  1. Cardiac stress tests and imaging (exercise stress tests-ECG, stress echocardiography, myocardial perfusion scans, computed tomography coronary arteries), 18 years and over
  2. Stress echocardiography, 18 years and over
  3. Myocardial perfusion scans, 18 years and over
  4. Standard echocardiography, 18 years and over

 

Thyroid investigations and treatments

  1. Neck ultrasound, 18 years and over
  2. Thyroidectomy hospitalisations, 18 years and over
  3. Thyroid stimulating hormone tests, 18 years and over
  4. Thyroid function tests, 18 years and over

 

Gastrointestinal investigations and treatments

  1. Gastroscopy hospitalisations, all ages
  2. Colonoscopy hospitalisations, all ages
  3. Proton pump inhibitor medicines dispensing, 18 years and over
  4. Proton pump inhibitor medicines dispensing, 1 year and under

 

Paediatric and neonatal health

  1. Antimicrobial dispensing in children, 9 years and under
  2. Planned caesarean section without medical or obstetric indication before 37 and before 39 completed weeks of gestation (preliminary data)

 

Repeat Analyses in the third Atlas

In addition to exploring the four clinical themes above, the third Atlas will include a repeat analysis of prescribing behaviour by charting changes over time in use of antimicrobial, opioid and psychotropic medicines, topics mapped originally in the first Atlas.

Antimicrobial dispensing

  1. Antimicrobial dispensing, all ages
  2. Amoxycillin and amoxycillin-clavulanate dispensing, all ages

 

Psychotropic medicines

  1. Antipsychotic medicines dispensing 17 years and under
  2. Antipsychotic medicines dispensing 18 to 64 years
  3. Antipsychotic medicines dispensing 65 years and over
  4. ADHD medicines dispensing 17 years and under

 

Opioids

Opioid medicines dispensing, all ages