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Data improvements

Last updated: 22 August 2023

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety made recommendations related to improving the quality, coverage and availability of aged care data. The Department of Health and Aged Care and AIHW have partnered to develop:

National Aged Care Data Strategy  The data strategy describes the agreed vision for the future national aged care data system, including why data improvements are needed and how they will be implemented. The latest draft is available for download.
Aged Care National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) The NMDS is a core set of standardised data elements agreed for mandatory collection and reporting at a national level about aged care. The proposed data items are available for download.
National Aged Care Data Asset  The data asset us a multi-source enduring linked data set that integrates people-centred data related to aged care.

These activities are taking place at the same time as the Department of Health and Aged Care are developing a digital strategy for aged care. We are carefully considering the interaction of these 2 strategies; they will form complementary sister strategies and are expected to be released at the same time in late 2023.  
What is our goal?
These activities are focused on ensuring that people have access to the right data to make informed decisions about aged care.
Each user of aged care data has a different perspective in this. It is critical that the aged care data system meets the needs of people using aged care (and their representatives), the providers and services delivering care, as well as other data users, particular governments and researchers.
What is happening next?

The timeline below shows the broad approach we are taking to prioritise, consult on and ultimately implement aged care data improvements. 

Over the next 2 years, we are working towards target dates to progress each component of the work:

Component Activity Target date
National Aged Care Data Strategy Consultation (round 1) on core elements of the strategy Late 2022
Consultation (round 2) on draft strategy Mid 2023
Public release of National Aged Care Data Strategy Late 2023
Aged Care National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) Finalising scope and priorities for the NMDS V1.0 Mid 2022
Consultation and data development work Ongoing
Public release of NMDS V1.0 July 2023
National Aged Care Data Asset AIHW Ethics Committee approval for establishment Late 2022
Develop data governance framework and access arrangements Mid 2023
Consultation on further expansion of the data asset Ongoing
How will the NMDS be implemented?

The Aged Care NMDS V1.0 data standards were released via METEOR in June 2023. In recognition of the impact on the sector, the data standards will be implemented progressively from July 2023 onwards, with work first focused on aligning internal processes within the Department of Health and Aged care with the data standards.

A PDF copy of the Aged Care NMDS V1.0 data standards are also available for download here. The factsheet below outlines a quick introduction to the NMDS and its implementation.

What have we learnt so far?

We have built our understanding of exactly what data improvement is needed and what the priorities are. We have been consulting widely with the aged care sector, and seeking advice and input from government, aged care providers, peak bodies, researchers and the public. In early 2022, we circulated an issues paper and survey.

The feedback we heard has informed our understanding of data gaps and where data improvement is most needed. Find out more about what we have learnt from our initial consultations here:

In late 2022, our consultation activities focused on the core elements of the data strategy. We heard from over 400 stakeholders representing aged care providers, researchers and consumers, as well as other organisations. These insights are helping us to draft the aged care data strategy. This work is summarised in the document below and reflected in the draft data strategy and NMDS data standards.

Your personal information is protected by law, including the Privacy Act 1988. The AIHW may collect your personal information in support of these aged care data improvement activities.

The information you provide in response to this issues paper will be used by the AIHW and shared with other parties for these purposes, however your personal information will only be shared where you have agreed or it is required or authorised by law.

You can obtain more information about the way in which the AIHW will manage your personal information in our Privacy Policy at