Australian Government: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare METeOR Home Page

Data Quality Statement: OATSIH Service Reporting (OSR) Database, 2010–11

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termQuality Statement
METeOR identifier:Help on this term495823
Registration status:Help on this termAIHW Data Quality Statements, Endorsed 04/10/2012

Data quality

Quality statement summary:Help on this term
  • The OATSIH Service Reporting (OSR) database collects service-level information from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services funded by the Australian Government.
  • AIHW identified three major problems with the data quality: missing data, inappropriate data provided for the question and divergence of data among two or more questions.
  • Where needed, AIHW staff contacted services to follow up and get additional or corrected data.
Institutional environment:Help on this term

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government under the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act 1987 to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare. It is an independent statutory authority established in 1987, governed by a management Board, and accountable to the Australian Parliament through the Health and Ageing portfolio.

The AIHW aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians through better health and welfare information and statistics. It collects and reports information on a wide range of topics and issues, ranging from health and welfare expenditure, hospitals, disease and injury, and mental health, to ageing, homelessness, disability and child protection.

The Institute also plays a role in developing and maintaining national metadata standards. This work contributes to improving the quality and consistency of national health and welfare statistics. The Institute works closely with governments and non-government organisations to achieve greater adherence to these standards in administrative data collections to promote national consistency and comparability of data and reporting.

One of the main functions of the AIHW is to work with the states and territories to improve the quality of administrative data and, where possible, to compile national datasets based on data from each jurisdiction, to analyse these datasets and disseminate information and statistics.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act 1987, in conjunction with compliance to the Privacy Act 1988, (Cth) ensures that the data collections managed by the AIHW are kept securely and under the strictest conditions with respect to privacy and confidentiality.

For further information see the AIHW website

The AIHW is responsible for undertaking the data management, analysis and reporting of information collected as part of the OSR.

Timeliness:Help on this term

OSR is an annual collection which started in 2008–09.

To date, three national reports have been published based on the OSR data collection that are available on the AIHW website (see below for link to national reports).

Due to the extent of data quality improvement processes involved, there is a time lag between the date when the services submit their data and the release of annual data reports.

Although the services are required to submit the initial data no later than two months after the reference period, finalisation of data in consultation with services can take another 6 months. Data for 2010–11 was finalised in February 2012.  Stakeholder consultation over aggregated data further delays publication. The release of annual reports is expected to take approximately 15 months from the reference period.

Accessibility:Help on this term

National level data are available in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services Report annual publications as hard copy or on the AIHW website that can be downloaded free of charge.

Users can request data that are not available in reports via Indigenous Community and Health Service Reporting Unit, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on (02) 6244 1000 or via email to Requests that take longer than half an hour to compile are charged for on a cost-recovery basis.

Interpretability:Help on this term

Data were collected using a questionnaire designed specifically to capture information on services provided by primary health care, substance use and Bringing Them Home and Link Up counselling services. Main statistical analyses used in reports are descriptive. Numbers and percentages are commonly used to enable interpretation of major trends in publications.  The annual publication also includes a range of information to assist interpretation of data, including a glossary of concepts, and an appendix on data limitations.

Relevance:Help on this term

The database includes information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services funded by the Australian Government. More detail about the number and types of services included is given in the ‘Scope’ section of the annual publication.

The database includes information on the activities of these services during 2010–11. It provides general information about the services and their operation. It looks at the services, programs and activities undertaken, and provides information on the number of clients, episodes of care, and client contacts. The data can also be analysed at jurisdictional and regional level. These data inform Indigenous health policy, and program development and implementation.

Accuracy:Help on this term

AIHW examined all completed questionnaires to identify missing data and problems with data quality. Where needed, AIHW staff contacted the relevant services to follow-up and obtain additional or corrected data.

AIHW identified three major problems with the data quality: missing data, inappropriate data provided for the question and divergence of data among two or more questions.

Two major reasons for missing data or data quality problems were the lack of complete records of data held by the service or insufficient data management resources at services to support the data collection. There were a number of questions for which some services were unable to provide appropriate data. In these cases, some services could only provide estimates.

AIHW assessed that some of these estimates, particularly relating to client numbers, are likely to either underestimate or overestimate the actual figure.

An individual service may provide more than one type of health related care resulting in some overlap between primary health care, substance use and Bringing Them Home and Link Up counselling services. There were a number of questions that were not relevant to all services, and this resulted in a smaller number of services providing data for some of the questions.

Generally all or nearly all services provided correct data for the questions that were relevant to them. Response rates for each question are provided in Appendix B.

The denominator used for percentage calculation is the number of services that provided correct data for each question.

Coherence:Help on this term

Data were collected and reported by AIHW for the first time using the new OSR questionnaire for the 2008–09 reporting period. It would not be appropriate to make time series comparisons with previous years’ data as this was collected by another agency using a different collection methodology.

Service level data were collected for the first time by AIHW for the 2008-09 reporting period from all Australian Government funded specialist Indigenous health services using a paper-based OSR questionnaire.

The OSR collection continued to use a paper questionnaire until 2010–11. For the 2011–12 collection period most services are expected to submit data through an online reporting system OCHREStreams.

The OSR combined three separate data collections previously conducted by OATSIH:

•     Service Activity Reporting (SAR)

•     Drug and Alcohol Service Report (DASR) and,

•     Bringing Them Home (BTH)  and Link Up Counselling Services

Data products

Implementation start date:Help on this term18/09/2012

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Has been superseded by Online Services Report (OSR) Database, 2011–12, Data Quality Statement AIHW Data Quality Statements, Archived 02/06/2021

My items Help on this term
Download Help on this term