Essential Component 10
Quality care is supported through collection of and access to reliable, timely clinical information and data

High quality, timely and transferrable data can contribute to improved patient experiences and outcomes

Why is this an Essential Component?

Evidence for inclusion

A key objective of this Blueprint for Improvement is to enable patients, families and carers to have seamless journeys through the often complicated care systems required to meet their needs.

The collection of, access to and use of high quality, timely and transferrable data contributes to improvement in patient experiences and outcomes.

'Collecting and analysing data are central to the function of quality improvement in any health service' (Victorian Quality Council, 2008) .

Healthcare data collected using standardised assessment tools and compared with benchmarks can have impacts not only on decisions about the care of individual patients, but also on outcomes at a population level.

Quality improvement initiatives at a service or jurisdiction level depend on understanding and using reliable data to solve 'the right problem in the right way … Data not only enables us to accurately identify problems, it also assists to prioritise quality improvement initiatives and enables objective assessment of whether change and improvement have indeed occurred.' (Victorian Quality Council, 2008)[1] .

NSW Health works collaboratively to develop data to allow increased local analysis and inform planning and service design.

Intended beneficial outcomes

  • Collection of, access to and use of high-quality patient-level data will improve patient experiences and outcomes.
  • Collection of, access to and use of high-quality service-level data will improve care coordination and integration.
  • Collection of, access to and use of high-quality system-level data will improve funding models, planning and policy development.
  • Medical records are electronically integrated and available across all care settings at the point of care throughout NSW .
  • Clinical information is available at the point of care in all care settings.
  • Access to and use of high-quality data supports effective benchmarking and service evaluation.
  • Access to and use of high-quality data enhances quality improvement outcomes and research.

What tools/resources could support the implementation of this component?

The Agency for Clinical Innovation commissioned CareSearch (Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University) to identify local, national and international tools or resources that can potentially be used to implement each of the ten (10) Essential Components of Care within the Blueprint.

To be included, tools and resources were required to be in English, be applicable to the Australian context and be supported by evidence (such as published validation studies, clinical guidelines representing expert consensus, or advice from expert clinicians who were consulted).

The set of tools and resources provided is not intended to be exhaustive, nor is any one tool specifically recommended.

About the review process

Core palliative care tools

Patient Held records

A journal article reporting on seven randomized control trials and six non-experimental studies on the value of patient held records for people with cancer.

Registration or payment Not applicable

The Preferred Priorities for Care (PPC) document

The Preferred Priorities for Care (PPC) document is a patient-held record promoted by the End of Life Care Strategy as an ACP tool to promote discussion and communication amongst patients, family and health care providers.

Physical / functional assessment - palliative care

Palliative Care Self Assessment (PaCSA)

Palliative Care Self Assessment (PaCSA) provides services with an online portal to self-assess against the National Palliative Care Standards (5th ed.), mapped against the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (2nd ed.), resulting in a quality improvement action plan.

Core resources

Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC)

The Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC) is a nationally funded program utilising standardised clinical assessment tools to measure and benchmark patient outcomes in palliative care. Participation in PCOC is voluntary and can assist palliative care service providers to improve practice and meet the Palliative Care Australia (PCA) Standards for Providing Quality Palliative Care for all Australians.

Registration or payment Registration is required to participate

Policies and Tools for Hospital Palliative Care Programs (US)

Website of the American Centre to Advance Palliative Care - advocacy group providing clinical training materials and community information resources.

Registration or payment for information


  1. Victorian Quality Council. A guide to using data for health care quality improvement. Melbourne: Victorian Government Department of Human Services; 2008.

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