Clinical Indicators as a Measure of Healthcare

Date published: Tuesday 1 May 2012

Quality improvement is a major focus of the Australian healthcare system. In order to identify what should be improved it is necessary to measure it. Since 1989, The Australian  Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) has been measuring clinical performance and the program now includes measures on 350 indicators grouped in 22 sets.  The ACHS has released its Australasian Clinical Indicator Report 2007-2014 and this provides an overview of the analysis of each indicator set for the last eight years.

All indicators are designed to screen, flag or draw attention to a specific clinical issue and therefore should be viewed as pointers rather than absolute makers of performance.

Private Healthcare Australia has reviewed this Report and there is arguably evidence pointing to the fact that Private Hospitals continuously provide a better health care experience than Public Hospitals. This follows on from the superiority of private healthcare has been confirmed recently by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the Productivity Commission Report (December 2009) into the “Performance of Public and Private Hospital Systems” and also by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards.

The Report is based on the largest national clinical data set from 665 hospitals comprising of 336 public and 329 private hospitals.

The report gives the results of 22 categories of indicators and provides a national perspective on healthcare, highlight evident trends and variation in clinical practice.

The results shows that Private Hospitals had more desirable rates in 63 clinical indicators in 2009 and 42 main clinical indicators in 2010, when comparing to Public Hospitals.

Private Healthcare Australia provides more information and analysis of these indicators from the report across key categories of particular interest where the private health sector was seen to deliver better quality care and provide a safer healthcare environment including:

  • Unplanned Re-admissions
  • Hospital Wide
  • Adverse Drug Reaction
  • Day Surgery
  • Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
  • Intensive Care
  • Infection Control
  • Mental Health
  • Rehabilitation Medicine

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