The Community Health Indicators project works to improve the quality and safety of care provided by community health organisations that are funded by the Department of Health & Human Services. It also collects evidence of the effectiveness and appropriateness of that care.

The project is a collaboration of the department, the sector and its peak body, consumers and carers, and state and national stakeholders. Working with the sector, the department developed two sets of indicators: the Community Health Practice Indicators (CHPIs) and the Community Health Impact Indicators (CHIIs).

The CHPIs and the CHIIs:

  • strengthen the culture and practices of continuous quality improvement (CQI)
  • contribute to evidence of the quality and impact of services
  • strengthen clinical governance
  • promote reflective and evaluative service delivery by clinicians
  • enable agencies to report to their community and stakeholders in the annual Quality of Care report.

The indicators cover allied health, counselling, casework and nursing services. Some support the delivery of multidisciplinary models of care. The indicators do not cover health promotion or general practice.

Community Health Practice Indicators

The CHPIs are 22 indicators that enable community health services to measure key practices that make up the service user’s journey: access and initial contact; initial needs identification; assessment, care planning and implementation; monitoring and review; and transition and exit.

Community Health Impact Indicators

The CHIIs are clinical indicators that aim to measure the effectiveness of chronic disease management programs. Their focus on improved outcomes for clients aligns them with chronic disease management frameworks and models that community health services use. In particular, they align with the Wagner Chronic Care Model.

Data being collected for the CHIIs covers health behaviours, health status, quality of life, avoidable admissions to emergency departments and/or hospital, and client goal achievement.

The indicators draw on a literature review and discussion paper developed by the Australian Institute of Primary Care & Ageing (AIPCA), and on feedback from focus groups with consumers and carers.

Community health services helped with a trial collection of data to inform the development of the indicators.