The Australian Private Hospitals Association (APHA) has strong representation on a new steering committee that oversees the design and development of a project to align public reporting standards in the healthcare industry.
CEO Michael Roff and board members Christine Gee and Allan Boston have been appointed to the Patient Safety Reporting Steering Committee by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.
They will be asked to give advice on the best options for reforming how safety and quality data is reported by public and private hospitals nationwide.
Though some critics have questioned the transparency and availability of such information, Mr Roff said private hospitals already have a good track record of collecting and reporting these statistics.
“Private hospitals have been leaders in providing quality and safety data, and in fact many hospitals make this data available through their own websites or government-run ones like Myhospitals.
“Private hospitals have done this work of their own volition, recognising the value of good data for quality improvement and accountability purposes,” Mr Roff said.
The committee, which will be in place until the end of 2018, is expected to deliver a report to the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Committee and the Council of Australian Governments Health Council. It is comprised of experts across the industry.
Mr Roff said it will be important to pinpoint the data that will provide valid like-for-like comparisons between private and public hospitals.
“Working with the committee, we want to ensure that any move to public reporting draws on the vast amounts of data that private hospitals already provide to governments and health funds, so there is no additional administrative burden,” Mr Roff said.
“Ultimately, we need to find indicators that are comparable across public and private hospitals to allow for meaningful comparisons.”
As part of its own efforts to improve safety and quality, in 2017 APHA partnered with healthcare consultancy Chappell Dean to collect core outcome measures and create a benchmarking service for member hospitals.
“This is just the beginning of this service, it’s early days for us, but I am looking forward to what this can offer our hospitals and our patients and our commitment to the highest levels of healthcare delivery in Australia,” Ms Gee said in August.