Table of contents:
The Commonwealth/State Disability Agreement Minimum Data Set (CSDA MDS) is:
- a set of nationally significant data items that are collected in all Australian jurisdictions; and
- an agreed method of collection and transmission.
Since 1994, the CSDA MDS collection has provided funding bodies, service providers, consumers and other stakeholders with valuable information about services delivered under the CSDA and the people receiving those services. But this information is only collected on one snapshot day in the year and cannot represent the full picture, especially given the changes in the field in recent years. The vision for the new CSDA MDS is:
- A CSDA MDS that meets critical information needs across the disability field and is consistent with other major data developments;
- Data collation methods that are integrated with the day-to-day operations of agencies and funding departments and prevent duplication of effort (e.g. via the use of statistical linkage keys).
What will the new collection look like?
The most significant change in the redeveloped collection is that, for most service types, service providers will be required to provide information about all service users during the year (rather than just those who receive a service on a snapshot day). This means that service providers will be required to collect and store information on an ongoing basis, for transmission to their funding organisation at specified points in time (quarterly in some jurisdictions and annually in others). However, less detail will be asked about service users, depending on service type. For example, accommodation and community support services will be required to provide all data items relating to service users whereas recreation or holiday program providers will only be asked to provide the information needed to construct the linkage key (i.e. selected letters of name, sex and date of birth). As with the current collection, services such as advocacy and print services will still not be required to provide service user details. Table 1 outlines the data items that will be tested in the final round of field testing (see below). The table highlights data items that are new to the collection, those with a related HACC MDS data item and those that will be provided by jurisdictions rather than service providers.
|'Service user items||'Service outlet items|
|Unique funded agency ID number(s) (J)||Unique funded agency ID number(s) (J)|
|Date of birth (H) + date estimate flag||State (J)|
|Sex (H)||Outlet postcode (J)|
|Specified letters of name (H)||Service type (J)|
|Country of birth (H)||Organisational sector (J)|
|Indigenous origin (H)||Total CSDA funds (J) (provided by jurisdictions at the 'lowest' administrative level possible)|
|Labour force status|
|Principal income source||Staff hours|
|Accommodation setting (H)||Full financial year of operation|
|Living arrangements (H)||Hours a day of operation|
|Service user postcode||Days a week of operation|
|Disability group (primary, identify others)||Weeks a year of operation|
|Interpreter services required|
|Individual funding flag|
|Support needs indicators (9 areas)|
|Carer arrangements (informal):
Carer - existence of (H)
Carer - primary
Carer - co-resident (H)
Carer - age group
Carer - relationship to service user (H)
|Information required for each service type received in the reporting period (for each service user)|
|Service type(s) received|
|Service start date|
|Date service last received|
|Service exit date|
|Main reason for cessation of service (H)|
|Did the service user receive a service on the specified snapshot date?|
(J) Item provided by jurisdiction rather than service provider
(H) Related HACC data item
ItalicsNew item in the CSDA MDS
In the past, CSDA MDS snapshot data have been used for a wide range of purposes. For instance to:
- support budget submissions for increased funding or changing funding emphasis;
- support planning for future service delivery;
- resist proposals to increase the level of service user contributions by demonstrating the high proportion of CSDA service users who have benefits or pensions as their main income source;
- provide national comparisons of numbers of service users living in institutional vs community-based settings;
- enable the comparison of supply and demand; and
- indicate that certain groups of people (e.g. people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin) are not accessing services as much as should be expected.
In the future, full-year data about service users and a number of new data items will increase the power of the information collected. For example, for the first time:
- a profile of all people receiving a CSDA funded service in a financial year will be available;
- new data on carer arrangements will enable the issue of ageing carers to be monitored and planned for;
- information will be available about the quantity of service provided to service users and this can be examined in relation to various characteristics of these service users, such as their support needs, disability group and carer arrangements, whether they live in metropolitan or rural locations.
Round 3 field testing will be conducted by State/Territory and Commonwealth agencies in October and November 2001. The goal of the testing is to confirm and refine the data items (Table 1) and collection methods for the proposed new CSDA MDS. During field testing, service providers will be asked to test the new collection materials by completing paper forms in relation to a small number of service users. This will enable issues in the data collection form and associated Data Guide to be identified and comments and advice to be sought from the people who will be providing this information in future. As in Round 2 testing, input from service users, carers and advocates will be obtained during Round 3. Views will be gathered by one or more of the following methods:
- Jurisdictions ask agencies to complete test forms in partnership with at least one service user and/or advocate;
- Jurisdictions discuss the collection and test form with service user groups, at specially convened or routine gatherings (as in Round 2 methodology);
- Service user groups field test with agencies.
Please contact your jurisdictional representative on FIG if you are a service provider or individual who is interested in being involved in testing data items and/or testing new products in the Round 3 field testing process.
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 the first two rounds of field testing it is clear that:
- many agencies currently make little or no use of computers for service user records, and many have very effective paper files; any future collection should therefore continue to accept data on paper 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 optional data transmission software.
The redeveloped collection will therefore accept paper forms and data downloaded from agency systems (in a specified format). Most jurisdictions are developing new software tools or refining existing software tools to support the new collection. This means that an optional software tool will be available for all agencies who wish to use one. For agencies who have their own software solutions in place or would prefer to purchase a commercial software product, a national technical specification, aligned with the minimum data set, will be available to help to ensure that your own system will produce data consistent with the CSDA MDS requirements. Further development and testing of software tools will be carried out in conjunction with Round 3 field testing and early in 2002.Please contact your jurisdictional representative on FIG if you are a service provider who is interested in being involved in testing new software tools.
Key milestones and dates to watch:
- September 2001 - Draft technical specification available for jurisdictions, commercial software developers and agencies wishing to modify their own software;
- September 2001 to February 2002 - Testing and refinement of data transmission tools;
- October to November 2001 - Round 3 field testing with service providers and service users;
- February to March 2002 - Jurisdictions train agencies in the new collection materials (including software);
- April 2002 - Live pilot test of new collection with all service providers (i.e. this one-month pilot will replace 'snapshot' data in 2002, prior to implementation of the new ongoing collection in July 2002).
- July 2002 - Implementation of new collection.
In order to prepare your agency for the new collection you may wish to view the AIHW CSDA MDS redevelopment website, where draft copies of all collection materials will shortly be available for public comment. The website will also include a copy of a draft technical specification, which will be used to develop data transmission software tools or by agencies wishing to modify their existing databases to conform with CSDA MDS requirements. Studying these materials and planning for the new collection now may save you time in the future. However, it should be noted that materials will be subject to modification following Round 3 field testing and will also be subject to variation in each jurisdiction. Therefore, before implementing any serious changes, it is advisable to contact your jurisdictional representative on FIG.
On the web, www.aihw.gov.au you can find:
- All 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 would be pleased to receive your comments and discuss the redevelopment project.
|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|