The Queensland Government’s health department has launched a revamped website in an effort to simplify hospital performance data and make it more easily accessible for users.
Minister for Health, Senator Geoff Wilson, said the upgraded site would collate existing information into specific, easy-to-find areas for the state’s 27 reporting hospitals as opposed to having information both online as well as in quarterly reports.
“It's about a new way of doing things that means people can access more information about their hospital in a clearer way, and when they want to,” Wilson said in a statement.
The Queensland Health Hospital Performance site, designed and built in-house to minimise costs, brings together 40 data fields in nine categories which were previously available on a range of information websites into a single destination.
It contains comparisons to national indicators, reports on emergency department data, how hospitals are performing in elective surgery, in emergency departments, the number of people that are waiting, and the number of people that came to hospital over a certain period of time.
A spokesperson for the Health Minister’s Office told Computerworld Australia the site was different to the Federal Government’s MyHospitals website, and stressed it was not at all in competition with the national project.
“The purpose of this is to provide Queenslanders with our most absolute data as it is not something done in competition with the other site, we’re reporting the data anyway, we’re actually just making it more available in a more accessible format that it was previously,” the spokesperson said.
Queensland Centre for Healthcare Improvement chief executive, Dr. Tony O’Connell, said the MyHospitals site focuses on the services provided by each hospital around the country whereas Queensland Health Hospital Performance is more about current activity and performance and thus reports on more measures than the national site.
“Also, MyHospitals is referring to information for 2009-10, whereas most of the information on Queensland Health Hospital Performance refers to last month.
“This provides easier and more timely access to hospital-level data across the most significant service delivery indicators, presenting a complete and up-to-date picture of a local hospital’s activity and performance,” O’Connell told Computerworld Australia.
“Now it’s easier for people to go on find their page relating to their particular hospital and view the information in a really easy to find place rather than looking in multiple sources as they had to in the past.”
According to O’Connell, the new site had more than 1500 hits within approximately 18 hours of going live.
The Gillard Government’s MyHospital site, [artnid:366383|first announced last November|new]], also compares hospital performance to national average waiting times for elective surgery and emergency department care, lists the medical services provided, bed numbers and whether outpatient services are available.
The site came under scrutiny late last year around the accuracy of the data on the site to which Federal Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, said there was checks and balances in place to ensure this was not the case.
"The material has been provided by each state and territory but it has been checked and rechecked by the Institute of Health and Welfare, an independent and very credible body," she said at the time.
Roxon also went on to defend the site’s integrity, claiming the information provided by hospitals had been double-checked by the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (AIHW).
"That's a high level of checking and, of course, any government at any time would take a dim view of any suggestion that data is being manipulated," Roxon told reporters at the launch of MyHospitals last December.
Queensland Health also has an internal organisation, the Centre for Healthcare Improvement, which ensures the accuracy of the data provided and will continue to do so with the new site.
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