Table of contents:
The redevelopment project was planned to proceed in four phases over almost two years (following an earlier study of information needs). The first phase of intensive development is now complete. There will now be extensive field testing and further development, culminating in a live pilot test in April 2002 and implementation of a redeveloped collection from July 2002. So far:
- A Facilitation and Implementation Group has been formed, is advising the AIHW as project manager and is playing a role in pilot testing (see contact details following for your jurisdictional representative.)
- An AIHW CSDA MDS redevelopment website has been established.
- The first national communication about the project was published by AIHW, ACROD and all jurisdictions (see AIHW website or contact your jurisdictional FIG representative for a copy).
- Data principles have been drafted to set out the 'ground rules' for the specification and operation of the National Minimum Data Set (see website and excerpt following).
- Round 1 field testing in 22 agencies from 5 jurisdictions has been carried out by AIHW. This resulted in simplification of the suggested list of data items, to try to focus on useful data that agencies already collect.
- A workshop on indicators was held in February 2001, to explore improved data outputs from the collection.
- A data transmission strategy has been prepared by consultants (see below) and presented to the National Disability Administrators to decide next steps.
- Data items for the 'prototype'collection were refined into a list (see next section, and website for further details) which was approved for testing by the National Disability Administrators in March 2001.
Data principles have been developed, based on the Disability Services Standards and legislation and guidelines concerning data collection, storage and transmission. The principles are drafted under three main headings: ethos; content; and quality, methods and procedures. The first draft guideline, under 'ethos' states that:
- All participants in the CSDA MDS collections should respect the rights to privacy, dignity and confidentiality of the consumer.
- Service providers should be respected for their role in providing a valued service and for their need to operate cost effectively and competitively in a mixed economy.
- Service funders should be respected for their role in policy, administration and high level advocacy in the sector, and their associated need to monitor activities and outcomes of services and the profiles and needs of consumers.
The draft guidelines can be viewed in full on AIHW websie or obtained from your jurisdictional FIG representative. Comment is welcome.
Since its inception, the CSDA MDS collection has comprised both:
- a set of data items and definitions that the National Disability Administrators agreed were significant for national collation and reporting purposes under the CSDA
(that is, the CSDA MDS); and
- an agreed method of collection and transmission.
What are the main changes to collection and transmission? The new collection will also have two such components, but there will be greater emphasis on trying to gather some of the data items from administrative data already held by jurisdictions (for instance data items relating to funding will no longer appear on any forms sent to agencies). A significant change is that, for most service types, a profile of all consumers during the year will be required. The new draft CSDA Minimum Data Set:
- requires that, for most major service types, service providers are collecting consumer and service provision information on an ongoing basis; and
- specifies the data outputs required, in terms of agreed national data items that will be transmitted to jurisdictions at possibly different points in time, but at least annually for national collation.
There will, however, be more 'gradation' in the amount of detail asked for different service types. For instance, accommodation support services will be asked for all data items relating to consumers, but recreation services will be asked only for information needed to construct the linkage key. Services such as advocacy services will still not be required to provide consumer details. What data will be requested from service providers? Table 1 sets out the data items being field tested for inclusion. Many of the data items in the new collection will be the same as or similar to the existing collection (held in all States and Territories and included in the Commonwealth census). Some data items are being refined to bring them into line with national standards (that is, to align them with data items standardised across community services). Some data items are new, reflecting some new national data requirements. The shading in Table 1 indicates items scheduled for field testing in the near future.
Table 1: Proposed data items for collection and transmission by service providers1 in the redeveloped CSDA MDS
|No.||Data item||How often would information need to be updated?|
|Data items to be collected by the outlet in relation to consumers|
|1||Date of birth2||Once|
|3||Selected letters of consumer name2||Once|
|4||Labour force characteristics||As at a specified point in time3|
|5||Principal source of income2||As at a specified point in time3|
|6||Ethnicity indicators2 (i.e. one or more of Country of birth, Main language spoken at home)||Once|
|8||Residential setting2||As at a specified point in time3|
|9||Living arrangements2||As at a specified point in time3|
|10||Carer arrangements (informal) 4||As at a specified point in time3|
|11||Support needs for activities and participation2||As at a specified point in time3 or as at last assessment (date provided)|
|12||Disability grouping2||As at a specified point in time3|
|13||Method of communication2||As at a specified point in time3|
|14||Unmet needs of consumer for this service type4||As at a specified point in time3|
|15||Individual funding package 'flag'4||As at a specified point in time3|
|16||Equipment and modifications 'flag'4||As at a specified point in time3|
|17||Consumer's receipt of service in a specified time period||As at a specified point in time3|
|18||Consumer's 'active' status - using start and stop dates||As at a specified point in time3|
|19||Measures of service quantity (e.g. contracted hours to be received by consumers).||As at a specified point in time3|
|Data items to be collected by outlets in relation to their own characteristics|
|20||Staffing profile2 (i.e. Full-time equivalent staff, Full-time equivalent/ volunteer/unpaid staff)||As at a specified point in time3|
|21||Agency sector (Government, Non-Government, etc) 2||As at a specified point in time3|
|22||Whether operated for full financial year2||As at a specified point in time3|
- Only outlet items would be asked of advocacy, print disability and information services. Recreation/holiday program services and possibly mutual support/self-help services would be asked only for consumer linkage key details
- Indicates that a similar (or identical) data item is collected in the current CSDA MDS snapshot collections.
- Outlet would need to ask at client entry to service and then confirm at end of each specified time period (generally the time when data are transmitted to jurisdictions).
- The Commonwealth will not be field testing these items as they are either available from existing administrative data sources or related to concepts being examined as part of current employment reforms.
The field testing will be designed both to:
- refine these items so that their definitions reflect the way agencies do business; and
- investigate whether these items are readily obtainable from agency records-the intention is to focus on data already held by agencies.
Field testing ('Round 2') is scheduled to take place in April to early June 2001, in State and Territory jurisdictions. The purpose of these tests is to 'reality check' the more complex data items (shaded) in Table 1. Field tests involving service delivery agencies will be organised and managed by jurisdictional administrations. Some 20-30 agencies in each jurisdiction (fewer in the smaller jurisdictions) will be invited to comment on aspects of the new collection in discussion with jurisdictional administrators. Agencies will be selected so as to give coverage of a range of locations, service types, sizes and consumer profiles. As the Commonwealth census collection and Case Based Funding Trials already incorporate the majority of these items, employment services can continue to provide input through established consultation mechanisms, such as the census road testing and user review processes. During these months the AIHW will also be working with jurisdictions to determine how government information systems may need to adapt to the new collection. A third round of field testing will take place later this year and a final full scale 'live' test will occur in April 2002, taking the place of the 2002 'snapshot' collection. How will the views of consumers be gathered? Discussion groups involving consumers will be organised by State and Territory jurisdictions and the AIHW, with the involvement of non-government organisations. Please contact your relevant FIG member (see contact list) if you would like to be included in these discussions.
The National Disability Administrators have been mindful that it is important to provide the means to minimise the work involved in transmitting data from agencies to jurisdictions. Consultants were engaged to develop a data transmission strategy and to consider whether the development of data transmission software might prove useful to the field. On the basis of their report and AIHW field testing it appears that:
- many agencies currently make little or no use of computers for client records, and many have very effective paper files; any future collection should therefore continue to accept data onpaper forms;
- other agencies have sophisticated computer systems already, and may prefer to be given a technical specification of data to be transmitted so that they can 'download' from their own systems; and
- some agencies may appreciate 'safety net' software. For disability service providers (other than employment assistance), two possible platforms for such software are now being investigated - the Western Australian ACDC system and the new HACC e-form. The ACDC system is a Microsoft Access database that is sent annually to agencies in WA for updating; WA already collects data on all consumers in the year (that is, not just consumers on the snapshot day). The Commonwealth also collects data on all consumers assisted during the financial year, and will continue to develop and provide census software (and file specifications) specific to Commonwealth funded service providers.
The future collection will therefore accept paper forms and data downloaded from agency systems (in a specified format). There may also be optional transmission software for use if agencies wish. Further development and testing is to be carried out.
Ruth Shean, Chair, National Disability Administrators:
" If the CSDA is to compete for tax-payers funds along with a number of other worthy programs that benefit the lives of all Australians, it is important that we are able to demonstrate how the money is spent, the number of people that are provided for and the positive outcomes for people with disabilities. It is essential that the data collection measures are in tune with the needs of people with disabilities, and also meet service providers'requirements. We need to ensure that we are collecting information which is not just of interest, but also of long-term benefit to all."
Helen McAuley, ACROD:
"This new collection will mean extra work for agencies in some States, hopefully less in others. ACROD is trying to ensure that the extra work is minimal and that the redeveloped collection will mean data items that are easy to collect and useful, and streamlined transmission methods. The field testing with agencies should bring up any likely problems."
Julie Simpson, National Caucus of Disability Consumer Organisations:
"Consumer participation in the planned discussions is important. Our views can ensure that the data are meaningful and will give us further opportunities to contribute to the development of government policy at both the federal and state level."
Ros Madden, AIHW redevelopment project manager:
"Our organisation is working hard to achieve the vision of better data, that can be produced efficiently in the course of service administration-data that will be meaningful to people with disabilities, disability administrators and service providers, and policy makers at the highest levels of government. This is a challenging design task. The CSDA MDS must be a cost effective set of data items and methods for data transmission. We hope that the field testing stages about to start will generate useful discussion, and will help refine the collection so that together we can achieve the vision."
On the web (address http://www.aihw.gov.au/) you can find:
- Both national newsletters
- Draft data principles
- Electronic discussion list ('chat room') where you can place your comments and see others. To subscribe to this list, send an e-mail to email@example.com with the words 'subscribe csdamds' in the body of the message (please leave the subject line blank).
If you do not have access to the web, any of the material mentioned in this newsletter can be obtained by contacting the FIG member in your jurisdiction (see contact list at the end of this newsletter). They will also record your comments.
|Simon Watts||Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care
Level 13, 83 Clarence Street
SYDNEY NSW 2000
|02 9364 6968 02 9367 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Carsten Petersen||Disability Services Department of Human Services Level 19/555 Collins Street MELBOURNE VIC 3000||03 9616 7934
03 9616 7272
|Carolyn Webber||Disability Services Queensland GPO Box 806 BRISBANE QLD 4001||07 3247 3566
|Cate Thomas||ACT Department of Health and Community Care GPO Box 825 CANBERRA ACT 2601||02 6205 1566
02 6205 2037
|Dana Bensky||Disability Services Commission PO Box 441 WEST PERTH WA 6872||08 9426 9295
08 9481 5223
|Mike Griffiths||Department of Human Services Disability Services IT Support Unit Box 3-5 Darley Road PARADISE SA 5075||08 8207 8920
08 8207 8944
|John Nehrmann||Community and Rural Health Disability Services Department of Health and Human Services GPO Box 125B HOBART TAS 7001||03 6230 7524
03 6230 7526
|Neil Murray||Aged and Disability Care Services Department of Health and Community Services PO Box 40596 CASUARINA NT 0811||08 8999 2496
08 8999 2488
|Michael Cooper||Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services Box 7788 Canberra Mail Centre CANBERRA ACT 2601||02 6244 7109
02 6244 8499
|Julie Simpson||National Caucus of Disability Consumer Organisations Parent to Parent Association Qld Inc PO Box 434 YANDINA QLD 4561||07 5472 7072
07 5472 7073
|Sean Regan||ACROD PO Box 60 CURTIN ACT 2605||02 6282 4333
02 6281 3488
|Ros Madden, Louise York, Chrysanthe Psychogios||Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Disability Services Unit GPO Box 570 CANBERRA ACT 2601||02 6244 1189
02 6244 1187
02 6244 1068
02 6244 1199
|email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com|
Note: This list will be updated when necessary on the AIHW website (www.aihw.gov.au/).