The Commission has led development of the Atlas series. The first Atlas was developed in collaboration with the National Health Performance Authority and the second Atlas with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The Commission has consulted widely with the Australian government, state and territory governments, colleges and specialist societies, clinicians and consumer representatives to develop each Atlas. Over 150 stakeholders were consulted in the development of the second Atlas; this consultation addressed the topic selection, data specification development, data interpretation and development of the clinical commentary.

Enhancements made to the second Atlas have included:

  • Greater involvement of clinicians during all stages of development
  • Analysis of data by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status
  • Analysis of data by patient funding status (public or private).

Atlas Advisory Group

The Atlas Advisory Group provides oversight to the development of Australian Atlases of Healthcare Variation, and ensures a high level of clinical, academic and consumer input. The group is chaired by Professor Anne Duggan, a senior gastroenterologist at the Hunter New England Local Health District, NSW.

The Atlas Advisory Group comprises medical college representatives, consumers and topic area experts. The group provides advice on:

  • Clinical topic areas
  • Methodology for data analyses
  • Interpreting the data
  • Clinically relevant and meaningful items for the Atlases
  • Communication with colleges and other stakeholders that are critical to the future stages of this work which will require investigation of identified healthcare variation at the local, and speciality levels.

Membership

Jurisdictional Advisory Group

The Jurisdictional Advisory Group (Atlas JAG) provides project oversight and input from the states, territories and the Commonwealth to the Atlases. The group is chaired by Ms Janet Anderson PSM, Deputy Chief Executive, Department of Health, Northern Territory Government.

The Atlas JAG comprises state and territory department of health representatives. The group provides advice and assistance to the project on:

  • Jurisdictional initiatives to identify and address healthcare variation
  • Methodology for data analyses
  • Interpreting the data
  • Jurisdictionally relevant and meaningful items for the Atlases
  • Clinical network engagement strategies to assist with consultation on Atlas findings, and to promote the project at the local level.

Membership

Topic Experts Groups

The Topic Expert Groups were established around clinical themes. These Topic Expert Groups were consulted on:

  • Prioritisation of the clinical items for analysis
  • Development of the data specifications, where possible
  • Development of clinical commentary.

Membership

Interactive Atlas Design Advisory Group

The Interactive Atlas Design Advisory Group (the Atlas User Group) provides technical and end user input to the Commission on the development of an interactive web-based Atlas.

The Atlas User Group comprises individuals with expertise in content development, web design and end user functionality, all critical underpinnings for a user-friendly, easy to navigate, interactive Atlas. The group is chaired by Professor David Roder, Professor of Cancer Epidemiology and Population Health, School of Health Sciences University of South Australia.

The group provides advice on:

  • Design, functionality, issues of scalability, audiences, and usage
  • The best ways to disseminate an interactive Atlas, including data linkages, and use-and-reuse considerations
  • Data visualisation, projections, geographic issues, practicality (including cost considerations), and usability for the Atlas and the associated data.