Dedicating resources to allied health digital informatics – an exercise in value optimisation

Mr Ryan Mcvey1

1Queensland Health – Darling Downs, Toowoomba, Australia


Within the public health system, allied health services are consistently required to demonstrate value whilst identifying and optimising additional efficiencies. Timely access to accurate and relevant data necessary to achieve this is often challenging, particularly where resourcing is variable.


An allied health data and informatics position was established with appointment conditional on qualification in a relevant allied health profession. Key role objectives focussed on improving reporting, increasing performance, assisting managers to create local service changes and implementing a cohesive approach to allied health data utilisation.

Results were assessed 18 months after implementation using:

1) Changes in divisional performance indicators, and

2) A survey of users (managers and clinicians) accessing reporting solutions.


The overall results suggest that dedicated informatics resources improve allied health performance metrics and facilitate effective manager performance.

Through the development of a suite of simple reporting solutions as well as targeted education activities, managers and senior clinicians reported:

  • Improved confidence in independently accessing, interpreting and using the required data, including successfully advocating for additional staffing;
  • Improved visibility of allied health services provided across 29 facilities, covering more than 90,000km2.

Additionally, an increase in clinical events and improved patient access times (>50% improvement) were observed. Local and statewide networks were developed for collaboration and resource development, resulting in the creation of similar roles in other health services.

Four key enablers for success were identified:

  • Executive support
  • Incumbent possesses detailed knowledge of allied health models and context
  • Timely access to relevant and accurate data
  • Focus on improving data literacy


Allied Health services typically capture large volumes of data. Until staff have both timely access to the required data and the skills to accurately interrogate that data, the full potential of the data sets stored will not be realised. This project provides important lessons for allied health services that aspire to understand and utilise available data.


With a background as a physiotherapist in both Australia and the UK, Ryan McVey has a detailed understanding of allied health service delivery models. He uses this knowledge to create informative and engaging reporting solutions that assist managers to understand their services and demonstrate the value that allied health services adds to an organisation. As the Allied Health Workforce Development Officer – Data and Informatics within Darling Downs Health he is responsible for driving the digital agenda for allied health.

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