Safety and Quality > Our Work > Indicators of Safety and Quality

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Objectives of the Commission’s National Indicators project

  • Enhance the quality and safety focus in national health data standards and indicators
  • Drive improvement in safety and quality at local levels through fostering supportive feedback
  • Improve transparency and accountability in reporting on healthcare safety and quality


Avoidable Hospital Readmissions

At the request of the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council, and in line with the National Health Reform Agreement Addendum, the Commission has developed a list of avoidable hospital readmissions and their associated condition-specific timeframes. This list was developed in consultation with clinical and consumer experts, taking into consideration relevant literature and Australian public hospital data.
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Hospital acquired complications

The national list of 16 hospital acquired complications (HACs) was developed through a comprehensive process that included reviews of the literature, clinical engagement and testing of the concept with public and private hospitals.

Core, hospital-based outcomes indicators

In November 2009, Health Ministers endorsed the Commission’s recommendation that hospitals routinely monitor and review a succinct set of indicators.These hospital-based outcome indicators can be generated by jurisdictions or private hospital ownership groups, which hold the source data, and reported back to provider facilities.
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Patient safety reporting for hospitals

The Commission is working with the public and private health sectors to identify options to align public reporting standards for safety and quality across public and private hospitals nationally. To inform these options, the Commission has published the following:

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Patient-reported outcome measures

The Commission is developing a program of work to support health services in the evidence-based collection and use of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). The first phase is the publication of an environmental scan of the Australian healthcare sector’s use of PROMs and a literature review which synthesises international implementation and impacts of these measures.
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Patient experience surveys in hospitals

The focus of the patient experience surveys project is to develop a set of non-proprietary core questions for nationally consistent measurement of patients’ experiences in hospital and day stay services.
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Practice-level indicators of safety and quality for primary health care

Practice-level indicators of safety and quality for primary health care are designed for voluntary inclusion in quality improvement strategies by organisations and individuals providing primary health care services. Research and extensive consultation informed the development of this indicator set. The synthesis of submissions on the Consultation Paper, and detailed specification of the national set of practice-level indicators of safety and quality for primary health care, are now available.
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Core outcome indicators for day procedure services

The Commission has developed a specification for core, hospital-based outcome indicators of safety and quality for the day procedure sector, building on the national core hospital-based outcome indicators approach.

Draft specification for core outcome indicators for day procedure services

These indicators were developed in collaboration with the Australian Council of Healthcare Standards (ACHS).

More information on the ACHS clinical indicator program 
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Indicators for Australian Clinical Standards

The National Health Reform Act (2011) and the Reform Agreement require the Commission to develop clinical standards and recommend indicators and data sets.

A clinical care standard is a set of specific, concise statements and associated quality measures. The Commission will initially focus on developing clinical standards and indicators for acute coronary syndrome (ACS), stroke, and antimicrobial stewardship (AMS).

More information on the Clinical Care Standards.
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Australian list of sentinel events

The Australian sentinel events list was endorsed by Australian health ministers in 2002. In April 2004, Australian health ministers determined that public hospitals should report on sentinel events at the national level. National reporting on the agreed list of sentinel events is done through the Productivity Commission’s annual Report on Government Services (RoGS).
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Classification of Hospital Acquired Diagnoses

The Classification of Hospital-Acquired Diagnoses (CHADx) (pronounced ‘Chaddix’) is a taxonomy of adverse events that allows hospitals to identify, count and monitor adverse events that occur in hospital to support safety improvement efforts. The CHADx can be used in conjunction with the Hospital Acquired Complications list to explore adverse events in additional detail.
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