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Reporting on health performance helps to improve the health system in a number of ways. As well as making the system more transparent and accountable, it also helps consumers to make more informed choices about their health care by providing accurate, timely and relevant information about the performance of their community’s health and hospital services. Doing this in a nationally consistent way also encourages improvement through the sharing of successful strategies among health care providers.

About the Performance and Accountability Framework (PAF) indicators

The AIHW bases its performance reporting on a set of indicators agreed by all Australian governments. These are set out in a document called the Performance and Accountability Framework (PAF), which contains nearly 50 indicators of health system performance, grouped into four main categories: access, appropriateness, safety and quality, and efficiency. There are currently 17 indicators for public and private hospitals, and 31 for primary health organisations. As any indicator can be measured in many different ways, this means the AIHW provides information on hundreds of different measures at local levels of geography.

The Framework was agreed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2011.

How to find health performance information

The AIHW publishes its local-level health performance information on the MyHospitals and MyHealthyCommunities websites.

All AIHW Hospital Performance and Healthy Communities reports published on these websites are listed on Health performance reports.

MyHospitals logo and link to websiteMyHospitals

MyHospitals contains performance information on more than 1000 public and private hospitals nationally including:

  • waiting times for elective surgery and emergency department care
  • percentages of patients who leave the emergency department within four hours of arrival
  • rates of healthcare-associated Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infection
  • length of stay in hospital for specific conditions
  • how much money different hospitals spend, on a comparable basis, to provide care to acute admitted patients.

It also includes some interactive comparative tools, which make it easy to select a specific hospital and see how it performs against its peers in relation to specific indicators.

MyHealthyCommunities logo and link to websiteMyHealthyCommunities

MyHealthyCommunities contains information about primary health care organisations and the health experiences and characteristics of the Australian population in regional and small community areas. It contains information for one or more of the following types of geographic areas, depending on the nature of the source data and the year to which it relates:

  • Primary Health Network areas—31 nationally
  • Medicare Local areas—61 nationally (replaced by PHNs in 2015)
  • Statistical Areas Level 4 (SA4s)—106 nationally
  • Statistical Areas Level 3 (SA3s)—351 nationally
  • Postcodes (about 3000 nationally, of which about 1500 typically have reportable data).

The indicators for which information is available on the MyHealthyCommunities website include:

  • child immunisation rates
  • child and maternal health
  • measures of patient experience
  • mental health care
  • potentially preventable hospitalisations
  • use of GPs, specialists and other health services.