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Four years at BHI - reflections from our Chief Executive

Four years at BHI - reflections from our Chief Executive

Transitions are good times for reflection. As I am preparing to begin a term as Acting Chief Executive of the Agency for Clinical Innovation, I have reflected on the last four years spent at the Bureau of Health Information.

From a personal perspective, these four years have enabled me to develop new leadership skills, learn about a new healthcare system and grow as a person. It has been a privilege to lead a talented and dedicated team and to catalyse BHI’s journey towards better performance measurement and reporting, and have a stronger impact on how care is delivered in the state. The team has grown and matured, as I have. The interactions with countless numbers of patients, clinicians, managers and people dedicated to improve healthcare have been so valuable.

From an organisational perspective, these four years have seen BHI expand its scope and mandate, integrating the exploration of unwarranted clinical variation and the continuous measurement of patient-reported measures as part of its suite of work. The organisation has also expanded its series of reports and information products, adding new publications that aim to provide information on a broader range of aspects of performance, to a variety of people.

One of the key developments was the creation of a new website and interactive data tools to enable access to information at any time – the production of facility-specific profiles enables the exploration of performance information that goes beyond high-level indicators and measures. Information is complex; the needs of healthcare managers, clinicians and policy-makers, as well as those of the general public, cannot be combined in the same information product. This is a challenge that BHI has taken on. The variety of information products available online tailored for different audiences, and also for people across the NSW healthcare system to access attests to the modern approach that the BHI is taking to performance measurement and reporting.

From a system perspective, the last four years have seen BHI being increasingly recognised as the single source of public information on healthcare performance, and the basis for clinicians and managers to identify issues and potential improvements, as well as consolidating gains and improvements. As BHI expanded the topics it reported on, the sources of information used and the ways information was disseminated, the utilisation of this information by the entire system expanded as well. The public reporting of information, in a fair and careful way, is now part of the recognised levers that help healthcare to improve at the local level and through to the design of state-wide policies.

I look forward to the next few months, where I will be transitioning to a role where information about the healthcare system is an input to support its improvement and the emergence and implementation of innovations that further the impact of the system on the population’s health. It is with a lot of pride in the work accomplished and confidence in the work to come that I take on this new challenge. Everyone at BHI has made me proud to be part of this journey.


Page updated: 25 Feb 2020