"Flying Blind"
Australian Consumers and Digital Health

A report about the Australian Health Data Landscape

Health Data Silos

Information Rich, Intelligence Poor

The disjointed nature of Australian healthcare means that Australian health data are severely fragmented. There is generally little in the way of effective data sharing between the private and public healthcare sectors, even though consumers often use a mixture of both. This is further complicated by the separation of primary and hospital care.

As a result, much of the data collected by service providers remains in silos – something which does little to ensure the integrity and efficiency of healthcare delivery. Nor does it ensure continuity of care for the individual consumer.

Each time Nancy sees a new health service provider, she has to fill out her patient history and repeat information on her allergies and medication. She will have to carry her reports and X-rays to each service. The fact that this data is not automatically shared between her health service providers is a waste of time – not to mention a considerable source of frustration. She is worried healthcare providers could make decisions about her health without complete information.



Current Scenario:

  • Duplicate data is routinely collected by different service providers – a considerable waste of effort.
  • The quality of data collected by different service providers varies significantly.
  • Even in the same hospital, different ICT systems might be used for different service delivery activities – such as ambulance, emergency, pharmacy and so on.

Proprietary ICT systems used by hospitals and GPs contain more data than that held by consumers, other health service providers and the government.

Health Data Silos