This newsletter is the first in a series designed to:
- inform people in the disability field about the redevelopment of the Commonwealth/State Disability Agreement Minimum Data Set (CSDA MDS) collection; and
- advise interested groups and people how they can make suggestions and ask questions.
The National Disability Administrators (NDA) and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) are working together on the important task of redeveloping the CSDA MDS collection. Dr Ruth Shean, Chair of NDA believes that this initiative will greatly help in the planning of services to best meet future needs and in the public accountability of disability service provision. Dr Shean sees the support and involvement of the field as being crucial to the project's purpose and success. AIHW will manage the redevelopment project, working closely with a Facilitation and Implementation Group (FIG). FIG includes coordinators from each State and Territory and from the Commonwealth who are responsible for a range of operational tasks. Three representatives of non-government organisations are also included on the Group, to ensure that the views of consumers and non-government organisations help shape the new collection. FIG contact details are in Attachment 1 to this newsletter. Comments received so far from key stakeholders on this major undertaking have been most encouraging.
"ACROD is participating in the advisory group for the MDS redevelopment, doing our best to ensure that the new data collection will be user-friendly for service providers and compatible with their own information management processes, and won't be an extra administrative burden or unduly intrusive."(Ken Baker, ACROD Chief Executive)
"The data will provide people with a disability, their families and representative bodies with valid information about the development and monitoring of disability services."
(Julie Simpson, National Caucus of Disability Consumer Organisations)
"All too often disability service providers find it difficult to justify the cost of quality services. By setting national standards the disability MDS will provide much more authoritative and comparable data to enable transparent benchmarking and assist in developing information systems to support co-operative service delivery."
(Peter Sandeman, General Manager, Community Services, Mission Australia)
Table of contents:
The Commonwealth State Disability Agreement Minimum Data Set (CSDA MDS) collection was set up in 1994. Its establishment allowed complete, nationally comparable data on disability services funded under the CSDA to be collected in Australia for the first time. 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 collation.
The data have been used extensively since 1995. Among other purposes, they have been used to monitor trends in services and consumer profiles, to respond to public enquiries about services or consumers and to ad hoc data requests from specific services or areas, to substantiate budget submissions relating to disability funding, and for planning and reporting purposes. Reports on the data can be viewed on the AIHW website- www.aihw.gov.au
The second Commonwealth State Disability Agreement was signed in 1998, reflecting significant developments in the field in:
- the nature of services and service delivery methods, in particular the trend towards more flexible services focussing on individual needs;
- the information needs and capabilities of the field, including the need for greater accountability and the development of performance indicators and performance-based contractual agreements; and
- available technology and the greater sophistication in its use across the disability services field.
In view of these changes, the National Disability Administrators and the AIHW have begun a process to review and redevelop the CSDA MDS and related data collections.
What will the redeveloped CSDA MDS mean for you?
The redeveloped CSDA MDS will aim to specify a minimum number of core data items for collection by all service providers funded under the CSDA. Through careful planning and consultation it is hoped to minimise the burden of data collection on consumers and service providers, while also collecting information that is highly relevant and very useful for consumers, service providers and funding organisations. The vision for the new CSDA MDS is that it will:
- meet critical information needs across the disability field, and be consistent with other major data developments (for example, relevant national data dictionaries, data developments in the Home and Community Care program);
- integrate data collation with the day-to-day operations of agencies and funding departments; and
- use statistical linkage keys to enable data from various sources to be related and collated without duplication of effort.
Like the original MDS, the new CSDA MDS will have an agreed set of nationally significant data items, and an agreed framework for collection and national collation. The new CSDA MDS will provide better outcomes to all major stakeholders. For people with disabilities, the data will be useful for evaluating the accessibility, appropriateness, efficiency and effectiveness of services, and ultimately leading to improved services and outcomes. The data will be more relevant to the needs of service providers, and will better inform government planning, service development and service delivery.
The redevelopment project is planned to proceed in four phases over two years. Further detail about the likely content of the new collection should become available in April 2001. There will then be further development and testing, culminating in a live pilot test in April 2002 and implementation of a redeveloped collection from July 2002.
What has happened so far?
A lot of work has already been done to review the information needs of administrators and to examine the changes in the field that are affecting what information is needed and how data should be collected. Now we are preparing materials for early discussions and testing in the field. In brief, we aim to confirm our understanding of:
- what information agencies and consumers need and use;
- how agencies handle information, that is, obtain it, record it, store it, update it and retrieve it;
- new service delivery models and how they relate to funding arrangements and information requirements; and
- how information collected in the disability services field relates to national information standards.
Good communication is vital to the success of this project. To that end, we are developing a communication strategy that includes:
- issuing newsletters (this being the first);
- posting up-to-date information to the AIHW website where comments can also be lodged (see below);
- conducting field testing in ways that help us to understand the views of agencies and consumers;
- attending meetings to discuss the redevelopment (please contact the AIHW or the appropriate FIG representative in your jurisdiction if you are interested in being involved in this way);
- providing freecall numbers at key times so that people in remote areas or with transport difficulties can talk to someone about the redevelopment project; and
- providing material to peak bodies for inclusion in their newsletters.
This newsletter, as well as a range of other documents, can be viewed on the AIHW website at www.aihw.gov.au. This website also includes an electronic discussion list through which you can share your views about the redevelopment project with other interested people. Please contact an AIHW staff member if you require a copy of this newsletter or any other document in an alternative format. You can also contact the State/Territory or Commonwealth FIG representative in your jurisdiction, the consumer representative, or one of the non-government representatives.
|Simon Watts||Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care
Level 13, 83 Clarence Street
SYDNEY NSW 2000
|02 9364 6968 02 9367 email@example.com|
|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
|firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org|
Note: This list will be updated when necessary on the AIHW website (www.aihw.gov.au).