Healthcare Variation

Clinical variation is a difference in healthcare processes or outcomes, compared to peers or to a gold standard such as an evidence-based guideline recommendation. Mapping variation is an invaluable tool for understanding how our healthcare system is providing care.

Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation series

The Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation series illuminates variation by using data to map the use of health care according to where people live. Each Atlas identifies specific achievable actions for exploration and quality improvement.

View by Atlas

Repeat Analysis reports

  • Antimicrobial icon_Helthcare Variation page

    Antimicrobial medicines dispensing 2013-14 to 2017-18

    Coming soon

  • Medicines dispensing - repeat analysis

    - due for release mid 2020

Better Care, Everywhere: Healthcare Variation in Practice

Better Care Everywhere: Healthcare variation conference moved to 4-5 Feb

Better Care Everywhere: Healthcare variation in practice conference moved to 4-5 February 2021.

In view of the rapidly changing situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and the requirement to cancel major public events, the Better Care, Everywhere: Healthcare variation in practice conference has been moved to 4-5 February 2021 at the International Convention Centre, Sydney. Registrations will reopen in July 2020.

For delegates who have already registered and paid you will be contacted by a representative of the Commission to arrange a refund. 

Please save the new dates for a program packed with practical information on identifying, investigating and addressing unwarranted healthcare variation.

NSQHS Standards: Action 1.28 on clinical variation

The value of monitoring clinical variation is now reflected in the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards. Developed by the Commission in collaboration with the Australian Government, states and territories, the private sector, clinical experts, patients and carers, the NSQHS Standards aim to protect the public from harm and to improve the quality of health service provision.

The Clinical Governance Standard: Action 1.28 variation in clinical practice requires health service organisations to have systems in place that use data to monitor variation in care to identify unwarranted variation and to regularly review and improve the appropriateness of clinical care.

Healthcare Variation and the Clinical Care Standards

In response to findings from the Atlas series, the Commission has developed several Clinical Care Standards (CCS). CCS are statements that describe the care patients should be offered by health professionals and health services for a specific clinical condition or defined clinical pathway in line with current best evidence. These include the Cataract CCS, Colonoscopy CCS, Heavy Menstrual Bleeding CCS, Osteoarthritis of the Knee CCS and the Third and Fourth Degree Perineal Tears CCS.