Aged Care Data Compare project (Technical title: Aged care FHIR IG API and benchmarking MVP)

Flagship Program: Digitally Supported and Coordinated Aged Care Management

Project Description

Residential aged care facilities in Australia use a variety of clinical information systems to collect and manage data related to the assessment and care of residents. These individual and distinct systems make it difficult for data sharing within organisations and hampers comparisons of care, quality and performance across provider organisations. Comparison is inconsistent, unreliable and inefficient, and hinders benchmarking of quality and performance outcomes. This proposal answers a call for aged care open standards and protocols to facilitate interoperability among systems and sharing of information to support funding and care quality reforms.

This Project aims to produce a prototype analytics-enabled data hub that uses an aged care data interoperability standard based on the FHIR API and SNOMED CT. FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) is an API (Application Programming Interface) that enables the development of an implementation guide (IG) for healthcare data exchange in a specific setting. The FHIR IG API and the prototype data hub will constitute the minimum viable product (MVP) being proposed in this Project to support data sharing and benchmarking of quality indicators across residential aged care organisations that use different aged care information technology (IT) systems.

This Project will complement the work of the Primary Care Data Quality project funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health (DoH) to support interoperability and improvements for data quality in primary care. This Project will leverage the expertise and resources developed in the Primary Care Data Quality Project to shorten development times.

Project Objectives

The overall aim of this project (which will be delivered in two concurrent phases) is to produce and validate a prototype data hub to facilitate aged care assessment data interoperability across residential aged care facilities (RACFs) that use different aged care IT solutions and enable benchmarking of provider quality indicators (QIs).   


The following objectives will guide the execution of this project: 

  1. Review and publish the global status of interoperability standards in aged care[Phase 1] 
  2. Develop a methodology for defining national clinical data standards for aged care using the FHIRAPIand deliver a FHIR implementation guide using the data definitions and data elements within the interRAI Long Term Care Facility (LTCF) data set [Phase 1] 
  3. Build and evaluate a prototype data hubthatuses the FHIR API to achieve data interoperability and has in-built analytics capability to support a range of use cases for benchmarking quality indicators (QIs) across aged care providers [Phase 2] 
  4. Develop a methodology for validating the use of the FHIRimplementation guidewith at least three aged care vendors; and define the FHIR API adoption journey for aged care vendors [Phase 2]. 


If undertaken and successful, it is envisaged that the project would pave the way for further two-phase exploration under a separate project agreement to: 

  • Trial and evaluate the reliability of the FHIR API to support data reuse amongst RACF providers [Phase 3] 
  • Evaluate the impact of access to benchmarking data on quality indicators for RACF providers [Phase 3] 
  • Define a process for ratifying FHIR interoperability standards in aged care in Australia [Phase 4]. 


For the avoidance of doubt, this project focuses on Phases 1 and 2 i.e. objectives 1-4. 

Industry Participant

Bupa Health Foundation
Annette Schmiede, Executive Leader

Commonwealth Department of Health (DoH)
Shane Porter, Assistant Secretary, Data & Analytics Branch

Other Project Participants

Research Participant

The University of Queensland (UQ)
Professor Len Gray, Director, UQ Centre for Health Services Research

Project Value: