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Data dashboards aid Australian Department of Health in COVID-19 related decision making

In a statement yesterday, SaaS provider Qlik shared how the Australian Department of Health was able to make public health decisions through data.

WHY IT MATTERS

When the pandemic outbreak first happened in early 2020, the DOH needed a solution that could support the National Incident Room to provide “curated data on a daily basis so as to keep the Australian public informed on the unfolding COVID-19 situation”. According to Qlik, the technology company offered end-to-end solutions for the DOH, enabling it to join “many disparate datasets quickly and produce a wide range of reporting formats”.

Some of the areas that the solution helped in include the following:

  • Public announcements: Initially, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth had to deliver twice weekly updates via social media. With Qlik’s reporting solution, the DOH was able to “supply accurate data and a flexible solution for every instance”.
  • Pandemic Incident Management: A user-centric dashboard enabled the DOH’s internal pandemic management team to monitor and respond quickly to information on the DOH’s own workforce volumes, IT capacity, and staff movement to identify and manage employees working remotely or onsite.
  • Impact Assessment: By integrating data from sources such as the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods and hospital data from the Critical Health Resource Information System, the DOH was able to provide a view of national availability for medical devices such as ventilators and PPE, as well as measure hospital capacity.
  • Vulnerability Assessment: A separate Qlik app integrated data sets from 18 different vulnerable cohorts such as those with chronic disease, disability, or those in remote areas. The dashboard enabled the DOH’s Data and Analytics Branch to spot trends in the data sets according to age, gender and geography to identify areas and people that were most at risk and to aid decision making.

THE LARGER TREND

Australia’s COVID-19 response has been the envy of countries around the world. Even after experiencing a second surge of cases between May and October last year, the country adapted quickly and cases have not gone beyond the 1,000 mark since.

Data dashboards have proved useful in the fight against COVID-19, specifically in the area of decision making. In the US, NYU Langone Health’s source-of-truth dataset and de-identified COVID-19 data repository enabled operational leadership to make informed decisions regarding resource allocation and strategic planning.

ON THE RECORD

“Australia’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic is well-regarded globally and this can largely be attributed to a well-coordinated and collaborative effort across government, the healthcare sector as well as the private sector that was underpinned by data-driven decision making,” said Charlie Farah, Director of Industry Solutions for Healthcare and Public Sector at Qlik.

“This enabled the government to swiftly act and provide clear communication to citizens and State authorities on the rapidly changing situation to help limit the spread of COVID-19 within the community,” he added.

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