What is Lumos?
Lumos is an ethically approved program that securely links encoded data from general practices to other health data in NSW, including hospital, emergency department, mortality and others. This is a pioneering initiative in NSW that makes reliable information available to guide:
- Improved patient experience and outcomes
- Service design and integration
- Commissioning of services
- Strategic directions of the health system
By shedding light on the patient journey through the NSW health system, Lumos provides an essential platform for the design, delivery and evaluation of health care pathways.
Insights can be used to inform health system improvements that benefit patients.
Why do we need Lumos?
With the growth and ageing of Australia’s population, and with the incidence of complex and chronic health conditions in the population, people’s health needs are changing. To meet these changing needs, the challenge for the health system is to integrate care across the continuum of care settings and providers, delivering person-centred, seamless, efficient and effective care.
To deliver integrated care, health services need to become more connected. By linking information about the health care people receive, we can understand what patients need, where and when, allowing better decisions for managing population health.
However, connecting health information in Australia is complicated because it is collected by different arms of government as well as by private organisations. Therefore, ’whole of system’ information is not available to any one steward. Because data remains separated, the view of the patient journey – the care that patients receive and the outcomes that they experience – is fragmented.
Lumos aims to address this fragmentation by creating an enduring linked data asset to enhance our understanding of the patient journey through health care systems to inform NSW Health policy and planning.
The case for expansion
Lumos has arisen from a four year NSW GP Data Linkage Pilot Project which to date has linked the general practice data of approximately 400,000 patients across 40 NSW practices. It has demonstrated that patient information can be securely extracted from general practices and linked with other data collections to generate new insights while safeguarding patient confidentiality.
Over the next three years Lumos will expand state-wide, linking data from up to 500 general practices across all 10 Primary Health Networks (PHNs) in NSW. This is the largest collaboration the NSW Ministry of Health has ever undertaken with the NSW PHN network, in terms of the nature of the collaboration, the number of PHNs involved and the scale of practices engaged.
It is anticipated that Lumos will generate insights on up to 4 million patient journeys across the NSW health system. This is an unparalleled opportunity that has great potential to inform and underpin the transformation of patient care in NSW.
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