Page 3217 - Week 10 - Thursday, 17 September 2015

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Auditor-General’s report No 5 of 2015—government response

Paper and statement by minister

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Auditor-General’s Act, pursuant to subsection 17(6)—Auditor-General’s Report No. 5/2015—Integrity of Data in the Health Directorate—Government response.

I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: The government welcomes the audit report on the integrity of data in the Health Directorate. Of the 18 recommendations in the report the government agrees with 15 and agrees in principle to the remaining three. The three recommendations that have been agreed in principle are related to audit logs for the emergency department system, the establishment of a single, non-admitted data system, and a new process for some records for which medical coding is completed prior to discharge summaries being received for a patient.

The government is serious about emergency department data integrity. However, the new audit features within the upgraded system provide for considerably improved data integrity. The main concern with turning on the audit log features of the system is that this could slow it down and interfere with the operation of the emergency department. Relevant officers will work with the director of information integrity to establish the adequacy of the audit features in the current system and suggest other alternatives if the current suite is not sufficient.

The development of a single, non-admitted data system would be preferable. However ACT Health has agreements with a number of vendors for different systems. As such, the development of a single system will be managed over time based on a cost-benefit approach as current systems approach the end of their licences. ACT Health is also exploring the additional resource requirements in relation to the final recommendation that has been agreed in principle as well as looking at other ways of addressing the matter.

The recommendation noted that a system should be put in place to ensure that medical records coded before a discharge summary is completed should be flagged and any variation required to the medical record followed up with the appropriate doctor. While this is not a major problem, ACT Health continues to work to improve the timeliness of discharge summaries that would preclude the necessity to review medical records. The report notes that the processes and practices for the bulk of ACT public hospital services meet national requirements. However the report noted that additional work is required in relation to non-admitted data quality processes as well as general data quality assurance activities. ACT Health has already implemented a number of the recommendations, and work is well underway in relation the remainder.

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