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Fourth Atlas 2021 - About the Atlas

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), has led the development of the fourth Atlas.


The clinical items describe variation in health service provision. It is not currently possible to conclude what proportion of the variation is unwarranted, or to comment on the relative performance of health services and clinicians in one area compared with another. The data are provided to encourage and promote further analysis and discussion about variation at local, regional, and state and territory levels.

Development has involved broad consultation with:

  • The Australian Government Department of Health
  • State and territory health departments and agencies
  • Professional colleges and specialist societies
  • Clinicians
  • Healthcare organisations.

An oversight and advisory structure, including a state and territory advisory group (Jurisdictional Advisory Group) and a Primary Care Expert Advisory Group, has ensured wide-ranging input into the development of the fourth Atlas.

For each chapter, a Topic Expert Group of lead clinicians and academic experts from across Australia was established.

The Topic Expert Groups provided advice at key stages of development, including the interpretation of the Atlas findings.

Members of the advisory groups were required to sign a confidentiality agreement and declare conflicts of interest before release of the preliminary data.

The AIHW conducted the data extraction and analysis, produced the maps, graphs and tables, and provided expertise in interpreting the data.

Read more about the Atlas and how to interpret the data or how to use the interactive maps and graphs.

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