Aussie health body gets data warehouse in order

 SYDNEY — Australia’s National Health Reform (NHR) initiative has taken a step forward with the announcement that it will shortly begin the enterprise data warehouse (EDW) overhaul component of the initiative.

The NHR initiative seeks to unify the Commonwealth, states and territories in a nationwide health and hospital system overhaul.

The EDW program, one of many elements, will ensure the data collection and storage facilities for a range of key health-related data sets are in place to support the NHR.

The EDW will also provide access to key common and agency specific data collections; provide the tools for a range of data analysis, modelling and forecasting activities; and ensure activity based funding-related data transfer between the relevant national, state and territory agencies. The data sets involved in the data warehousing program are sizable.

The Department of Health and Ageing, the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority and related agencies’ data sources amount to some 16TB at present with expected capacity requirements in five years equalling 80TB.

Some 40 plus per cent of this data is Medicare benefits-related, followed by aged care at 26 per cent and acute care at 19 per cent. Anticipated annual data growth rates are set at 10 per cent through to 2021.

Background work on the program has to date centred on initial interim data collection and consolidation, including the establishment of an initial data repository containing existing hospital acute care data using the department’s existing Oracle infrastructure.

Further interim data collection and consolidation, including additional data collections and reference data sets to support the initial operations of the National Health Performance Authority and Independent Hospital Pricing Authority, has also been carried out.

Phase one of the program, to go live by 1 July 2012, will include support of activity-based funding and National Health Performance Authority reporting.

Phase two, to go live by 1 July 2013, will include reporting abilities and data access to enable health authorities to meet contractual, reporting, monitoring and policy analysis requirements.

Phase three, to go live by 1 July 2014, will include optimisation and automated reporting functionality, and support for the matured requirements of the department and health agencies.

In related e-health news, the department said in late August that it was in negotiations for the third tranche of funding to be allocated to the National e-Health Transition Authority for the AD$466.7 million Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record project.

In June, it announced the four Victorian organisations to join the initial 15 first announced as part of the $416.8 million Medicare Locals project.


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