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Fine Tuning Project identifies measures that have reduced burden of reporting for Commissioned Services

After surveying our commissioned services in 2022, the PHN noted that providers were experiencing a significant burden of reporting, particularly when organisations received funding form multiple sources that required reporting into differing platforms.

Taking this on board, the PHN commenced an internal project, the Fine Tuning project, to look at the level of reporting and made a commitment to streamline reporting where possible and to ensure reporting data was meaningful and relevant for contract management.

Over a nine month period, six objectives were considered as part of this project. These included mapping the data points being reported across the Primary Mental Health Minimum Data set (PMHC-MDS), FOLIO and the annual plan, looking at the internal system being used to capture and process the data, and ensuring that relevant training resources and education sessions were provided so commissioned services were supported through the change process.

Up to 167 data points were identified in contracts, including 17 key performance indicators (KPIs). Significant data duplication was also identified between the PMHC-MDS and FOLIO, which aligned with the feedback provided by our commissioned services .

To address this and improve the experience for commissioned services, and allow them to redirect their time from reporting to service delivery, the PHN has been able to implement a range of streamlined processes, including implementing 3rd party data sources to assist with data collection. It was also identified that aligning contract KPIs with the PHN Program Quality and Performance Framework would provide a line of site to specific KPIs that the Department of Health & Aged Care use to monitor PHN performance, ensuring that service reporting data was meaningful at a system level as well as for each respective contract.

From 1 July 2023 contract renewals reflected these changes, that reduce reporting requirements by up to 58%, and reduce FOLIO reporting to checklist questions that directly correlate to measure quarterly program performance. A maximum of four KPIs were added to contracts, and a third-party organisation Cemplicity, was introduced to administer and collate Participant Reported Experience Measures (YES PHN Survey).

To support these changes, multiple consultation opportunities were initiated through either direct consultation with commissioned service providers and through the communities of practice that are coordinated by the PHN. Several training sessions were also hosted to introduce the changes to providers and seek their feedback.

Finally, training sessions to clarify the changes and resources to support the implementation of the changes were held, including dedicated data training to support providers to upload accurate and clean data to the PMHC-MDS.

These resources are available in the Commissioned Services Toolkit, and on the HNECC PHN website at Commissioning Resources - Primary Health Network (

All of the achievements of the Fine Tuning project are outlined in the Fine Tuning Project Infographic.

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