Government Health Data Integrity

Improved the collection of nationwide performance data and reporting.

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Project

A large Commonwealth government agency needed business consulting services to validate the content and manner of processing of national Key Performance Indicators comprising two key data sets used across government and the primary health sector to monitor activities and inform policy development. This processing occurs through extraction of data from multiple clinical information systems and its transfer to a secure data portal.

The KPIs measure national performance against a range of critical health factors, and their calculation requires the manipulation of hundreds of variables. The agency required an independent and objective review of the accuracy of the data processing that is performed to produce these KPIs.

Results

OUR APPROACH

Doll Martin Associates conducted a detailed analysis of the definitions and algorithms used for the KPIs, and developed a Control Data Set that was input to each clinical information system to check the integrity of the data extraction, transformation and output reporting process. The testing against the Control Data Set included a data-point by data-point comparative analysis of the outputs from the clinical information systems as well as an interrogation of the logic used to calculate each indicator. This process required a detailed understanding of the purpose and structure of performance indicators, the role of clinical information systems and their data collection context, and the impact of data quality on the results. The Control Data Set was subsequently used in the following data collection period to validate output from the existing and an additional clinical information system.

THE OUTCOME

The Control Data Set approach demonstrated that an extensive validation of the KPI reporting functions could be achieved, and that it enabled the reporting systems to be tested and evaluated much more extensively and precisely than had been possible to date. The Control Data Set was complemented by the development of governance and procedure instructions for its ongoing support.

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