Table of contents:
1 Oct - 31 Dec 2002 : The quarterly reporting period
25 - 31 Dec 2002 : The reference week in the quarter
31 Jan 2003 : The due date for data transmission to DSQ
If, as a DS NMDS-funded agency in 2002-03, you have not yet received your DS NMDS data collection materials from DSQ, contact the Help line urgently. If you need additional paper forms to continue the collection for the next quarter (Jan-Mar 2003) or any other data collection material, again contact the Help line.
Thank you to all DS NMDS-funded agencies who participated in the November test transmission. The test asked for only 2-3 service user records per service type outlet. It helped to identify areas needing greater definition and adjustment (eg. technical software issues) before the first quarterly data transmission in January. DSQ is contacting agencies that did not provide a test transmission, in an attempt to ensure 100% participation so that all agencies can realise the benefits of doing a test.
DSQ will provide sample range and logic check reports to each agency/service type outlet. It is a 'sample only' because some outlets sent real data and others sent test data. Please familiarise yourself with the format and wording of the report so that you will be familiar with the 'real' reports when they are sent out mid February, after DSQ receives 'real' data transmissions from agencies.
Generally, agencies managed very well with the new data items and with QDT software. For agencies networking QDT, be careful - in a few instances staff re-loaded the software, overwriting the backend and losing data already entered.
The Help line received more than 700 enquiries in October/November, with 300 of those received in the test transmission week. QDT and software issues accounted for nearly 45% of calls, 30% of calls related to data items and the remaining 25% related to administrative issues including 'service type outlet' reporting structures. DSQ has produced a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers - refer to the end of this Newsletter for more detail.
The DSQ DS NMDS Help line will provide advice about Data Items and DSQ provided software (QDT). Before contacting the Help line, please check the following references for answers to your queries: DS NMDS Data Guide; QDT User Manual; FAQs (in Newsletters or on the Website); and the DSQ DS NMDS Website.
DSQ DS NMDS Help line
- Phone: 1800 011 1028.30am-4.30pm Mon-Fri
Where to send your DS NMDS data transmission?
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reply Paid 430, DS NMDS Data
Disability Services Queensland
GPO Box 806
BRISBANE QLD 4001
Due date.Data for the first quarter (Oct-Dec 2002) is due at DSQ by Fri 31 Jan 2003. If your agency can finalise and transmit the quarter's data earlier than this date, DSQ will happily receive it and will start on the next phase of data processing (ie. applying logic checks and data cleaning).
Summary of data collection and recording processes for agencies.
- Record key information about all service users on an ongoing basis as part of your general administration. Keep up to date with data entry into software tools (like QDT - the DSQ provided software for the DS NMDS collection) to avoid a large backlog at the end of the reporting period.
- When new service users join your agency, collect information to respond to the DS NMDS data items. By now agencies should have followed up all existing service users and obtained additional information to respond to new data items. Ensure that appropriate privacy principles and practices have been applied.
- Some information about service users needs to be updated regularly, including at the time of data transmission. Refer to the Data Guide p11.
Service users - service received (items 17a - 17g):
Part of the key information to be recorded about service users is about the services they receive from the service type outlet. This includes information that needs to be recorded once only, like item 17a (when they first commenced using the service type) and items 17d and 17e (if they no longer receive the service, when they left the service type outlet and why). It also includes specific information about the services a person receives during differing time periods:
- Information about the services a person receives during the reporting period includes item 17b (when they last received the service). Because a person could receive a number of occasions of service in any time period, the date of each service by service type outlet needs to be recorded somewhere on an ongoing basis as part of an agency's general administration. A response to item 17b would then be a matter of entering the last date the person received a service in the reporting period.
- Information about the services a person receives during the reference weekis about the hours of service they receive (item 17f). If your agency and/or service type outlet is closed during the reference week (25-31 Dec), or the person did not receive any service from the service type outlet during the reference week, record zero (0) against this item for the service user. The purpose of collecting both reference week and typical week information is to indicate if the reference week was, or was not, typical in respect of the service user.
- Information about the services a person receives during a typical week is, again, about the hours of service they receive (item 17g). If the hours received by a service user during the reference week (item 17f) was typical, repeat those hours in the response for typical week (item 17g). If not, and if actual hours of service are collected by your agency, use this to calculate item 17g, deriving this item from the 'total hours received during the reporting period' (see Data Guide p85). A zero (0) response would only be appropriate if the person did not receive any service from the service type outlet during the quarter and in this case, agencies would not forward information to DSQ about that person in that quarter.
Service type outlets:
- Record key information about your service type outlet/s and their operation during the reporting period
- In most cases this will include recording the number of service users who received a service from a service type outlet during the reporting period (Oct-Dec) (item 7)
- In all cases this will include recording, for each service type outlet, staff hours per week (for both the reference week (item 5) and a typical week (item 6)) split into paid/unpaid staff hours. If your agency and/or service type outlet is closed during the reference week (25-31 Dec), record zero (0) against staff hours for items 5a) and 5b). The purpose of collecting both reference week and typical week information is to indicate if the reference week was, or was not, typical in respect of the service type outlet.
Forward to DSQ:
- a Service Type Outlet Form (paper or electronic) for each DS NMDS service type you are funded to provide; and
- depending on your service type, a Service User Form (paper or electronic) for all service users who accessed each service type outlet during the reporting period, with relevant data items completed.
For agencies using QDT:
when data entry is finished, go to the Data Administration menu:
- run the "Range and Logic check report". You need to correct any errors on QDT before transmitting data to DSQ, so keep re-running the report and correcting the errors until all discrepancies are resolved for your agency's service type outlet/s.
- select "Data Transmission" and click on the appropriate button (this will always be 'Extract for Agency Use' for DSQ staff) to create an extract file in the directory you specify. You now need to send that file to DSQ (or to your agency) by attaching it to an E-mail (preferred method) or copying it to disk and mailing it.
- DO NOT select "Begin New Quarter" until you have received notification from DSQ that it is time to do so. This is important because certain data items (eg. hours received) that were entered for one quarter are erased when a new quarter begins. Because DSQ will run range and logic checks after receiving agencies' data, we may need to contact you to resolve any discrepancies found in the data received. Note: You can still add information about new service users on QDT which would be relevant to the next quarter - that information will remain intact within QDT once you do begin the new quarter. IMPORTANT!
Data cleaning and closing a quarter. After receiving an agency's data transmission, DSQ loads the data into a central database and runs edits to identify any errors or other information to be followed up with agencies before closing off the quarter. Agencies will be sent a range and logic check report for each service type outlet by mid February or earlier if possible, depending on when DSQ receives an agency's data transmission.
IT grants have now been allocated to 30 non-government agencies for the purchase of PCs to enable them to meet the new DS NMDS reporting requirements. A further stage in the IT grants process is currently in progress and will support agencies to upgrade their existing in house data collection systems to allow them to meet the new requirements. Eligibility for the grants was dependent on the agency receiving recurrent funding, having a minimum number of service users, not having access to a PC with sufficient capacity to use QDT, and having a generally more complex mix of service delivery types. Agencies receiving grants are required to provide DS NMDS data to DSQ electronically.
In the October issue of the DSQ staff newsletter, the Director-General acknowledged the significant change for DSQ staff across the State, as well as for all DS NMDS funded service providers nationally. He emphasised that the new NMDS played an integral part in the accountability requirements underpinning the new DS NMDS, currently under negotiation. The Director-General recognised the input of regional staff whose participation on the DS NMDS reference group has been invaluable in implementing the major changes required. Well done - the DS NMDS project team adds their thanks, and would also like to thank DSQ SROs and CROs for their support and follow up with the non-government sector.
DSQ Area Offices currently report ISIS data to DSQ Data Management Section either quarterly, or more frequently depending on the type of service provided. Will the DS NMDS replace the need to keep ISIS up-to-date?
Yes, after the first quarterly data collection (Oct-Dec 2002) due at the end of Jan 2002, it should no longer be necessary for DSQ direct services to update ISIS data. It is expected that data collected through QDT will replace the need for ISIS data, and will provide a Statewide database for DSQ direct service outlets and service users. DSQ offices will be notified at the time of this change.
What should I do if my opinion about what service type is being provided is different to DSQ's advice to my agency on what service type is being funded?
Contact the Help line and have it clarified. For the DS NMDS, agencies are to report against the services they actually provide (ie. "operational reality"), NOT the service types DSQ has historically assigned against their grant IDs.
DSQ provides us with a block grant and is only one source of funding received by our agency. What information do I have to report on for the DS NMDS?
For the NMDS, block funded agencies should report all service delivery against the actual NMDS service types the agency purchases using DS NMDS funding, even if DS NMDS funding only partially funds a service type. Where a funded agency is unable to differentiate service users according to funding source (ie. DS NMDS or other), they are asked to provide details of all service users (for each service type). Details of all staff should be included for each service type irrespective of funding source. Please contact the Help line or refer to the website for more information.
Is reporting of DS NMDS data compulsory? What will be the consequences for DSQ-funded agencies, if they fail/refuse to provide NMDS data?
It is a requirement of accepting DS NMDS funding that agencies meet its reporting requirements through the DS NMDS. Accurate and complete data is needed to support budget submissions for increased funding or changing funding emphasis, and to support better planning for future service delivery. The requirement for DS NMDS data collection is being inserted into Service Agreements as a condition of funding.
What is DS NMDS funding?
All agencies that receive any funding from DSQ receive what is called DS NMDS funding. The Commonwealth Government has an agreement with all the states and territories in Australia, which is known as the Commonwealth-State/Territory Disability Agreement. Under this agreement the Commonwealth provides money to the states and territories to provide disability services in their respective jurisdictions, and the states and territories provide information back to the Commonwealth about the services purchased and the service users who received those services. In Qld, DS NMDS funding is provided under many program names such as Adult Lifestyle Support (ALSP), Options Plus (OP), Family Support (FSP), IR, Project 300 and through block grants.
Data items - Service User
Item 17f - Hours received (reference week): If it takes me one hour to drive to see a service user to provide a service, should I include travel time as hours received by the service user?
No. There are two separate questions in the collection - one about 'staff' hours and one about 'service user' hours. If a service includes their staff travel time in 'service user' hours it will give a false picture of service provision.
How can I get help with QDT?
Contact the Help line by phone or E-mail.
Note for DSQ direct services: the departmental IT Help Desk will NOT be able to provide support for QDT. Direct your queries straight to the DS NMDS Help line.