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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 10 May 2018) . . Page.. 1749 ..

To ensure the integrity of the review and robustness in its findings, recommendations and pathway forward, a review panel was established with clear professional expertise, including skills in technology, health delivery and reporting, academia, government transformation and data management. I would like to take this opportunity to once again acknowledge and thank the members of the review panel for their guidance and support to ACT Health over the past 12 months.

The review panel has provided an important balance of internal and external oversight and expertise that has helped shape the outcomes of this review. The terms of reference for the review were designed to get to the core of what the problems were through a root cause analysis, develop much improved governance, management and reporting processes, replace the data warehouse as well as develop a clear framework of outcomes and ensure the publication of accurate data.

The root cause analysis found that there was not an integrated data strategy across ACT Health, with minimal consistency in data management practices across the organisation. The varying user needs were not sufficiently coordinated or integrated, creating fragmentation. Data definitions were not consistent, impacting accuracy in reporting. There was a lack of data maintenance planning; so application updates to support mandatory reporting were impacted. Unfortunately staff did not have a clear understanding of the wider picture of data priorities and management, and training was not sufficient, which also impacted the accuracy of data collection.

I also felt it was essential for the review to advise how data can be used for improving the community’s and consumers’ understanding of ACT Health information, performance, quality and safety and options for data to be available in real time. This is the future of open, accountable public health services and I asked the system-wide data review to position the ACT as a leader in this area.

Through this process, ACT Health have reached out to key stakeholders, calling for openness and honesty so that no stone remains unturned. ACT Health believes it has listened, taken ownership and responsibility, and embedded a leadership that is ready and committed to the journey ahead. With the completion of the review, further consultation with ACT Health staff is the final step to considering the government’s response to the review and the necessary implementation activities.

This journey is about endurance and not a simple overnight fix. I also want to make it very clear that the issues that have been identified in the system-wide data review are of an administrative nature and do not affect the quality of health services delivered to the community of Canberra and the region. Patient information has been and continues to be held to the highest standard of privacy. The delivery of high quality health services remains a key priority for our government.

To ensure openness of the system-wide data review as it is progressed, independent quarterly audits have been undertaken. These audits tracked ACT Health’s progress in implementing the 175 external data integrity recommendations that formed part of the review. I am pleased to say ACT Health continues to make significant progress in addressing these recommendations. This progress has been quality assured by an external auditor to ensure transparency and integrity.

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