HISO is working with the Ministry of Health to develop an abortion and sterilisation data standard. This will support new data and reporting regulations for abortion which came into effect in September 2021. These regulations broadened the non-identifiable patient information to be gathered, and still includes things such as the person’s ethnicity and age, but now includes data such as the wait time for the service, how it was funded, and whether it was a self-referral.
These changes follow the abortion law reforms which saw abortion removed from the Crimes Act in 2020 meaning that it is now treated as a health issue. The Director-General of Health must review and report on whether there is timely and equitable access to abortion services, and on the relative costs to patients accessing them. Abortion and sterilisation providers must provide non-patient identifiable information to the Ministry of Health within one month of the procedure.
The Ministry currently operates an online system for abortion notifications and is transitioning to a similar system for sterilisation notifications which providers were previously only able to notify via paper forms. Design work for more automated data flows is planned in early 2022, with data standards being a key enabler and reference.
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