Activity based funding data quality

NSW Health has adequate arrangements to ensure that the data it uses for activity based funding is of reasonable quality. Activity Based Funding (ABF) represented 75 per cent of the funds provided to Local Health Districts (LHDs) and Speciality Health Networks in 2013-14.

For ABF to work it requires detailed information about patient activity in health services and costs of providing care.

Multiple, unaudited feeder systems present risks to data quality

LHDs often use ‘feeder systems’ to establish what type and how much care they provide to patients. These systems vary across districts and are not audited, increasing the chance of data errors. Systems used include appointment booking, pathology, operating theatre booking, clinical rostering and pharmacy systems.

A statewide data quality framework is expected to be rolled out in 2015-16, which will support consistent data quality across LHDs.

Financial data reliable

There are standardised systems across LHDs to support consistent costing of health services. Audit programs for costing systems are being rolled out across the State this year.

Shortage of clinical coders could impact data quality

LHDs have reported issues with maintaining their clinical coding workforce causing some delays in clinical coding. Clinical coding translates patient information into standardised codes and plays an important part in providing good data for ABF.

Further Information

Please contact Barry Underwood on 9275 7220 or 0403 073 664; email