Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations: Online Services Report

Page last updated: 06 August 2020

OSR Redesign
nKPI and OSR Implementation Roadmap


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations: Online Services Report (OSR) is a national data collection focused on the characteristics of, and activities and services provided by, organisations who receive funding from the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme to deliver primary health care services (including maternal and child services) to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


The data collected through the OSR assists the Department of Health to:

  • Identify key issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island primary health services;
  • Identify gaps in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health services provided;
  • Identify the services delivered by the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) sector and other organisations funded under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP); and
  • Collect information on the continuous quality improvement (CQI) process of services funded under the IAHP.

OSR Redesign

The revised OSR in the Health Data Portal is designed to reduce the time and effort needed to complete it. Wherever possible, data is obtained through the services’ Clinical Information Systems (CIS), and sent to the Health Data Portal in the same way nKPI data is transmitted. The majority of the OSR questions which cannot be answered from services’ CIS is pre-populated from services’ previous year’s responses. However, health services still need to check these responses for accuracy and update if necessary. The aim is that only a small number of questions, where the responses typically vary from year to year, will need to be answered from scratch.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) conducted a review into the OSR data collection including extensive consultation with the Indigenous health sector. The Health Data Portal’s OSR capability was developed based on the Review’s OSR recommendations and information gathered during the 2019 Portal Co-design Workshops. Key themes of the OSR Review recommendations include:

  • Reduce duplication and streamline the reporting wherever possible;
  • Restructure and streamline the OSR into a small number of sections, with related items grouped together;
  • Pre-populate items from the previous year’s report wherever possible; and
  • Build functionality to make it easier for services to input workforce full-time equivalent (FTE) information.

The recommendations from the AIHW’s OSR Review are reflected in an improved OSR reporting experience. Some OSR data items remain unchanged from before the AIHW Review others are modified and a small number of new items have been added.

The revised OSR data collection is being implemented progressively into the Portal in three stages:

  • Stage 1: OSR Health Portal Implementation (1 July 2019 - completed): Only the OSR questions which remained unchanged were included in the Health Data Portal, not all the OSR questions.
  • Stage 2: OSR Health Portal Implementation (1 July 2020): A small number of additional questions are being included, along with a range of new features and enhancements (see below):
    • All AIHW data validation business rules implemented to automatically run and present rapid results to the health service;
    • Organisation profile addition: the Healthcare Provider Identifier – Organisation (HPI-O) number and some additional questions concerning the organisation’s board;
    • Site profile: new section presenting/requesting confirmation of the name and address of any subsidiary clinics run by the organisation (information drawn from the health service profile in the Portal). For each site additional information requested will be site type, days of operation and whether 24 hour emergency care is offered;
    • The ability to show/ hide data item definitions and examples contextually in the OSR, as well as updated and more detailed definition information; and
    • A range of other enhancements and system corrections.
  • Stage 3: OSR Health Data Portal Implementation (1 July 2021): Additional questions will be included from the AIHW OSR review, which have been agreed to by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services Data Advisory Group (HS DAG), and set out in the nKPI and OSR Implementation Roadmap,  and 2019 co-design workshops.

At this stage, we anticipate, we will include further time-saving features such as pre-population of additional, relatively static data items (e.g. Health Provider Identifier - Organisation number, Incorporation details, Site information). The HS DAG is currently working on the additional questions for ‘collection’ in 2021 and beyond. Consideration is also being given to including as part of the overall OSR a number of questions requiring free text responses- these may be asked through a one-off online survey rather than the Health Data Portal as this would allow questions to be added, amended or deleted.

nKPI and OSR Implementation Roadmap

A number of reviews into how the two data collections could be improved, including the 2019 AIHW Review of the two national Indigenous specific primary health care datasets The Online Services Report and the national Key Performance Indicators, culminated in a range of recommendations. A roadmap to implement the nKPI and OSR recommendations has been developed. For more information about the nKPI and OSR Implementation Roadmap please email indgenousreporting@health.gov.au