Undeniably, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a large impact on the healthcare system across Australasia. The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS)’s “Australasian Clinical Indicator Report 2014 - 2021” (ACIR) quantitatively measures the effects of these impacts on healthcare organisations and reports on specific areas in which ongoing health trends have been impacted.
Areas impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic include Anaesthesia & Perioperative Care, Day Patient procedures, Intensive Care, and Emergency medicine. The Feature Report in this year’s ACIR demonstrates the impact to these clinical areas through analysis of submitted clinical indicators. This data shows deteriorations in indicators around patient management, from non-admission due to inadequate resources to patients requiring significantly longer stays in the recovery room post-anaesthesia.
The ACIR reports on the activity of Australasian healthcare organisations covering an eight-year period and gives a comprehensive overview of healthcare performance utilising patient-centred clinical indicators. This report assists organisations to determine their own improvements within a national context. The ACIR remains the most enduring report on clinical indicator-based health performance data in the world, consistently capturing data and measuring trends over 30 years.
In 2021, 101 clinical indicators showed statistically significant improvement across the Australian healthcare sector. Notable improvements are:
These notable improvements avoided significant amounts of patient stress, harm, and expense across hospital admissions in Australia.
Notable deteriorations are areas where the potential to make improvements exist:
In 2021, 57 indicators were trending in an undesirable direction, showing areas where the most potential to make improvements exist. Notable deteriorations are: