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

Cervical screening safety monitoring data

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termQuality Statement
METeOR identifier:Help on this term539460
Registration status:Help on this termAIHW Data Quality Statements, Endorsed 05/02/2014

Data quality

Quality statement summary:Help on this term

Summary of Key Issues
 All states and territories maintain a population-based cervical cytology register (also referred to as ’Pap test registers’ or ‘Pap smear registers’) to which all cervical cytology, histology, and human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA tests are reported.
• State and territory cervical cytology registers were established to support the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) that commenced in 1991.
• The AIHW receives unit record level cervical screening safety monitoring data from state and territory cervical cytology registers to allow safety monitoring analyses.
• Some duplication may occur where the same test data are reported to the cervical cytology register in two or more jurisdictions.  AIHW is unable to identify or resolve these instances, and the level of duplication is unknown, but believed to be small.
• Cervical cytology databases change every day, adding new records and improving the quality of existing records as new information becomes available.

 

Description

All states and territories have legislation that requires pathology laboratories to send a copy of all cervical test results (unless the patient to whom the test belongs objects to its inclusion in the register) to the relevant state or territory population-based cervical cytology register.
Cervical screening programs in each state and territory interrogate their own cervical cytology register in accordance with detailed data specifications to supply unit record level data to the AIHW. These data are compiled into a database.

Institutional environment:Help on this termThe 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 www.aihw.gov.au.
The AIHW has been receiving cervical screening data since 1989.
Timeliness:Help on this term

Cervical cytology data are available within about 6 months (there can be a lag of up to 6 months in the transmission of test results from pathology laboratories to cervical cytology registers), and data for the previous calendar year are supplied in July.
The current cervical screening safety monitoring data contains all low-grade cytology and high-grade histology tests performed and reported to the cervical cytology registers from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2012.

Accessibility:Help on this term

Cervical screening safety monitoring data appear for the first time in Report on the activity of the National Cervical Screening Program, and are thereafter published annually in the report Cervical screening in Australia, as of the 2011–2012 report, available on the AIHW website http://www.aihw.gov.au/cervical-cancer-screening/where they can be downloaded without charge.
General enquiries about AIHW publications can be made to the Communications, Media and Marketing Unit on (02) 6244 1032 or via email to info@aihw.gov.au.

 

Interpretability:Help on this term

While many concepts are easy to interpret, other concepts and statistical calculations are more complex and may be confusing to some users. All concepts are explained within the body of the report presenting these data, along with footnotes to provide further details.

Relevance:Help on this term

Cervical screening safety monitoring data are highly relevant for monitoring the safety of the NHMRC Guidelines. The data are used for many purposes by policy-makers and researchers, but are supplied and analysed specifically to monitor and inform the SMC in this forum.

Accuracy:Help on this term

All data provided by state and territory cervical screening programs, once analysed, are verified to ensure accuracy.

Some duplication may occur where the same test data are reported to the cervical cytology register in two or more jurisdictions.  AIHW is unable to identify or resolve these instances, and the level of duplication is unknown, but believed to be small.

Coherence:Help on this term

Cervical screening safety monitoring data are reported and published annually by the AIHW from 2014.

Data products

Implementation start date:Help on this term10/09/2013
My items Help on this term
Download Help on this term