National Health Information Strategy- Consumer Awareness and Engagement Project
On the 14 February 2020 the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) partnered with the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) to deliver a consumer awareness and engagement project as part of the public consultation and development process for the National Health Information Strategy (NHIS).
The NHIS will be the first of its kind for the Australian healthcare system– a national strategy that will aim to achieve integrated, effective, and timely health data and information. The NHIS will aim to achieve integrated, effective, and timely health data and information. The outcome will be a 10–15-year vision, and an enduring framework that will support the information needs of all who use, work in and manage Australia’s health system.
As part of the CHF ‘Consumer Awareness and Engagement’ project, a webinar was held on 17 March 2020 to have expert panellists discuss the NHIS draft form and encourage consumers to participate in the concurrent online consultation being administer by the AIHW. This webinar would then be followed by some targeted focus groups looking at ‘young consumers’ and ‘research aware consumers’ to get deeper consumer insights to inform the development of the NHIS.
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolved and Australian authorities enforced social distancing measures to counter the pandemic, the webinar was delayed until the 24 April 2020 to accommodate panellist safety and availability. In addition, the planned focus groups were cancelled as the IEP reviewed their timelines for consultation, development and delivery of the NHIS in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the concurrent AIHW online consultation process concluded before the 24 April webinar occurred, the webinar purpose was modified to use the longer lead time before the webinar to build consumer awareness of the NHIS and the webinar and allow for a greater amount of consumer input, feedback and questions to be introduced into the webinar content for panellist discussion.