Australians missing out on technologies enabling data-driven improvements in health outcomes

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Australia's health system generates enormous volumes of data. While we continue to focus on its use for the purposes of population health insights, resource planning and policy development, all vital areas where the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) does valuable work, we are missing out on opportunities for data to guide clinical care and improved outcomes for patients.

This has been highlighted today with the release of the AIHW’s report ‘Australia’s Health 2022’. This year, the report has been published together with a collection of articles on selected topics, including the evolving landscape of health information in Australia.

‘Value is first created at the level of the individual. And Australians are missing out on innovation in technologies that enable data to drive their access to best practice clinical care and improved health outcomes because we have not established the right infrastructure,’ says AHHA Chief Executive Kylie Woolcock.

‘These technologies have existed for some time, they can capture data and support shared decision-making along a person’s entire care pathway. There is also substantial growth in technologies that capture patient-generated and real-world data, as well as technologies that bring predictive analytics to personalising care.

‘So far, widespread uptake of such technologies has been limited in Australia. Not because of the lack of technological innovation, or because of clinicians, who we have seen driving the integration of these technologies into clinical workflows despite the health information landscape.

‘Embedding the capture of patient-generated and real-world data in health records, in a way that supports decision-making in near real-time, across the full care pathway, should be our goal.

‘It will not be a simple process to get there and requires more than just the technology. But Australians need to be provided with the opportunity to benefit from existing and future innovations in technology that support data-driven improvements in health.

‘Governments must commit to this future, and move beyond the pursuit of data integration alone, sector by sector, issue by issue, and instead ensure interoperability. This will support stakeholders across the health system to align in purpose and deliver the health outcomes that matter to Australians.’

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) is the independent peak membership body and advocate for the Australian healthcare system and a national voice for universally accessible, high quality healthcare in Australia. 

Media enquiries: Kylie Woolcock, Chief Executive, AHHA
0410 625 830