Draft National Clinical Quality Registry Strategy: Maximising the Potential of Australian Clinical Quality Registries (2019-2029)

Page last updated: 08 May 2019


The draft National CQR Strategy aims to drive continuous improvements in the quality and value of health care, to achieve better health outcomes for all Australians.

CQRs monitor the quality (appropriateness and effectiveness) of health care by routinely collecting and analysing clinical performance data. A mature CQR can provide clinicians, health service managers, patients and other stakeholders with ongoing, risk adjusted, benchmarked feedback on clinical practice and patient outcomes, to improve the standard of care.

The proposed vision of the Strategy is that:
National clinical quality registries are integrated into Australia’s health care information systems and systematically drive patient-centred improvements in the quality and value of health care and patient outcomes, across the national health care system.

The draft Strategy was developed by the Australian and state/territory governments, under the auspices of the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC), working closely with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and key stakeholders. Its development has been guided by an Expert Advisory Group.

A detailed implementation plan will be developed in consultation with key stakeholders and will be informed by the consultation process. More information about the implementation plan will be posted on this webpage after the consultation process.

A National CQR Strategy is proposed

Australia has a number of high performing CQRs, driving improvements in clinical practice, patient outcomes and the value and sustainability of health care. However, in the absence of an overarching strategy and strategic prioritisation of investment, the Australian CQR landscape has developed in an ad hoc manner.

The Strategy would maximise CQR potential by prioritising investment in clinical domains where the greatest gains in health outcomes and other returns on investment can be realised. It would guide coordinated stakeholder action and address key issues, such as the need to:
  • broaden the benefits of CQRs and promote equitable improvements in patient treatment and outcomes, across the national health care system
  • quality assure and streamline the CQR sector
  • increase tailored access to CQR data and information by a range of stakeholders
  • integrate national CQRs into Australia’s health care information systems and become a part of a comprehensive picture of patient treatment and outcomes
  • sustainably fund prioritised, national CQRs

The draft Strategy builds on a strong foundation

The draft Strategy builds on the work of many stakeholders, including Australia’s dedicated clinicians, CQR experts, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and the Australian and state/territory governments. The success of the Strategy will depend on stakeholders continuing to work together in partnership, to build on that strong foundation.

In addition to the draft Strategy, there are three key documents, produced by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, which guide CQR work in Australia:

The beneficiaries from the draft Strategy would be broad

  • Patients undergoing treatment would benefit from better health care and health outcomes that meet their needs, preferences and priorities. Over time, consumers would benefit from more information to help make decisions about their health care.
  • Clinicians would benefit from quality assured information about their clinical practice and their patients’ outcomes.
  • Health system managers and funders would benefit from more information to help make decisions about the health care they manage and fund.
  • Medical device and pharmaceutical industries would benefit from quality assured, post market information about the performance of their products.
  • Researchers carrying out health and medical research would benefit from streamlined access to CQR data, in accordance with privacy legislation, and CQRs can provide an effective vehicle for inexpensive clinical trials.

The draft Strategy has four objectives

Four strategic objectives are proposed to guide action over the 10 year Strategy:

  1. National CQRs are based on clinician/patient partnerships
    • CQRs and CQR outputs are clinician led, patient-centred and deliver outcomes that matter to patients (facilitating the delivery of patient centred health care)
  2. National CQRs are quality assured, efficient and cost effective
    • CQRs deliver accurate, timely and sustainable outputs, flowing to timely, reliable improvements in patient care and outcomes
  3. The potential value of national CQR data is maximised
    • CQR data and outputs are integrated into Australia’s health information systems, informing improvements in the quality of patient care and outcomes more equitably, across the national health care system
    • Tailored CQR information is available to patients, governments, funders and researchers
  4. National, prioritised CQRs are sustainably funded
    • National, prioritised CQRs have the resources to meet national CQR requirements and fulfil their potential

Strategy success would contribute to better health care and patient outcomes

  • Clinical practice and patient outcomes are improved
  • Patients are more empowered to make and be involved in decisions around their care
  • Clinicians are armed with information about patient needs, preferences and priorities and outcomes data to help them make decisions
  • Genuine continuous learning environment where data and information is used to drive improvement
  • Examining unwarranted variation in health care is routine practice
  • Patient reported and clinical outcomes data are part of the health system infrastructure
  • Fit for purpose data and information available to those who need it – patients, clinicians, providers, policy makers, funders, researchers - in a timely way

Consultation process – how to have your say

AHMAC has endorsed the draft Strategy for consultation.

On behalf of AHMAC, the Australian Government Department of Health (the Department) invites you to share your views on the draft National Clinical Quality Registry Strategy.

You can provide a submission to the consultation process by accessing the Consultation Hub. The Consultation Hub includes a list of questions on the Strategy and space to provide answers. You can also upload a submission to the Consultation Hub, rather than proceed through the questions if you wish.

Please indicate in the Consultation Hub if you consent to your submission being made public and published in the Consultation Hub.

At the end of the consultation process a report will be developed, summarising input and identifying key themes raised during the consultation process. The consultation report will also be posted on this webpage and inform the development of the Strategy.

Important information - Privacy and your personal information

Your personal information is protected by law, including the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles (APP), and is being collected by the Department, via the Consultation Hub, for the purposes of conducting a consultation process in relation to the draft National Clinical Quality Registry Strategy. The Department will collect your personal information at the time that you provide a submission, unless you choose to make a submission anonymously, and you are not reasonably identifiable from the information provided in your submission.

If you consent, the Department may, at its discretion, publish part or all of your submission on the Department’s website. If your submission is published, the Department may identify you as the author of the submission, if you consent to being identified. Submissions which have been published on the Department’s website can be accessed by the general public, including people overseas.

You should not include information in your submission about another individual who is identified, or reasonably identifiable. If you need to include information about another individual in your submission, you will need to inform that individual of the contents of this notice, and obtain their consent to the Department collecting their personal information.

You can get more information about the way in which the Department will manage your personal information, including our privacy policy, at http://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/privacy-policy.

The APP privacy policy contains information about:

  • how you may access the personal information the Department holds about you and how you can seek correction of it; and
  • how you may complain about a breach of
    • the APPs; or
    • a registered APP code that binds the Department; and
    • how the Department will deal with such a complaint.
You can obtain a copy of the APP privacy policy by contacting the Department by telephone on (02) 6289 1555 or freecall 1800 020 103 or by using the online enquiries form at www.health.gov.au.

Consultation Hub closing date

The portal will be open for submissions until 20 June 2019.


The Department of Health is planning to conduct two or three consultation forums via webinar , providing further opportunities for stakeholders to have their say and ask questions.

Webinar topics may include the following, which are based on the draft Strategy’s objectives, or you may nominate other relevant or more specific topics:

  • How should clinician/patient partnerships be facilitated so that CQRs contribute to patient centred care?
  • How should CQRs be quality assured and become more efficient and effective?
  • How should access to CQR data and outputs be improved?
  • How should CQR data linkage, interoperability and integration with Australia’s health information systems be achieved?
  • How can sustainable funding for national, prioritised CQRs be achieved?
If you are interested in taking part, please email your topic preferences, as soon as possible, to CQRpolicy@health.gov.au.

Details about the webinars will appear on this webpage soon.


If you have questions about the process, please email CQRpolicy@health.gov.au.