Budget to help establish a learning health system

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

AHHA welcomes announcements in the Federal Budget that will support the development of our health system as a learning health system, driving improved outcomes for Australians.

Learning Health Systems (LHS) allow best practices to be embedded in the care process; support patients, families and carers to be active participants in their care; and capture new knowledge as an integral by-product of the care experience.

‘This Budget shows that the Federal Government is committed to investing in some of the critical enablers to make this happen,’ says AHHA Chief Executive Kylie Woolcock.

‘A commitment to digital infrastructure that supports secure data sharing across all healthcare settings is crucial to providing the capability for learning health systems and delivering sector-wide quality assurance. Transforming My Health Record into a new National Repository platform will be equally as important.

'The ongoing funding for the Australian Digital Health Agency should ensure a national, cohesive approach to standards for electronic health records that will enable interoperability.

‘With $40 million over 4 years, the Clinical Quality Registry Program will help us to systematically monitor the quality of health care by routinely collecting, analysing, and reporting health-related information. Fed back to clinicians, this information can then inform clinical practice and decision-making, driving the best possible care for people.

‘Evaluating the implementation of different models of care for the purpose of adoption, diffusion, and spread has been a major problem to date. What has been learned from decades of pilots is often lost. We need agility to continue to adapt and improve, while also demonstrating accountability to our communities.

‘A monitoring and evaluation framework, as promised in this Budget, if outcomes-focused, will support the necessary cultural shift for designing innovative models of care. Skill-mix changes and the adoption of virtual care can be supported by the best available evidence and real-time engagement with data, rather than just being debated through the media.’

You can read more about our views on enabling learning health systems in our submission to the 2022 Productivity Inquiry here.

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) is the independent peak membership body and advocates 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