Primary Health Networks welcome new partner to Primary Health Insights Platform

Primary Health Networks (PHNs) have welcomed the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) as a participant in Primary Health Insights, the platform developed for the secure storage and analysis of de-identified general practice and other health data by PHNs.

The AIHW is an independent statutory Australian Government agency. It produces authoritative and accessible information and statistics to inform and support better policy and service delivery decisions, leading to improved health and wellbeing for all Australians.

Primary Health Insights provides the AIHW with a ready-built, secure platform for the management of the National Primary Health Care Data Collection (PHCDC), a new long-required resource to be developed to support population health monitoring, research, policy and planning.

Like PHNs, the AIHW will have its own individually secure lockbox for data storage. It will not have access to PHNs’ data, including data shared by general practices, whether that data is stored in Primary Health Insights or otherwise.

Any data sharing between PHNs and the AIHW may only occur in line with agreements that define which data sets are to be shared and for what purposes, and which in turn comply with the Data Sharing Agreements held by PHNs with the general practices in their area.

Importantly, data shared by PHNs with the AIHW cannot be used, or allowed to be used, for any performance benchmarking or financial audit undertaken by a Commonwealth or State government agency or any other funding body.

Benefits to PHNs and General Practice

The AIHW’s participation in the platform will provide benefits through their provision of additional resources that will be used for:

  • platform enhancements that further its development and evolution including ISO 27001 accreditation
  • building Primary Health Insights analytics capacity for PHNs’ use and general practices’ benefit
  • enabling process improvements that enhance data quality and comparability
  • increasing PHNs’ efficiency including the submission of general practice PIP QI data, and
  • providing a safe and secure enclosed environment where the AIHW and PHNs, under specific agreements, can safely share data.

The AIHW has become a ‘non-member partner’ in Primary Health Insights which provides access to platform services and participation in the governance committees that oversee the platform and how data is used on it.  Ownership and control of Primary Health Insights remains 100% with the PHNs.

Participation provides the AIHW with the opportunity to investigate, trial, assess and contribute to the functionality and potential scope of the platform as the host infrastructure for the PHCDC.  This supports the AIHW’s role in leading primary health care data development, further details of which are available on their website.

The AIHW’s expertise spans statistical analyses and data science, data development and management, data standards, social science, data linkage, epidemiology, people-centred data and more. As key stakeholders in primary care planning, continuity of care and local level service delivery, PHNs look forward to this collaboration with the AIHW and the benefits it can bring to the delivery of primary health care.