Availability and quality of publicly available health workforce data sources in Australia: a scoping review protocol.

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Availability and quality of publicly available health workforce data sources in Australia: a scoping review protocol.

BMJ Open. 2020 Jan 21;10(1):e034400

Authors: Gillam M, Leach M, Muller J, Gonzalez-Chica D, Jones M, Muyambi K, Walsh S, May E

INTRODUCTION: The health workforce is an integral component of the healthcare system. Comprehensive, high-quality data on the health workforce are essential to identifying gaps in health service provision, as well as informing future health workforce and health services planning, and health policy. While many data sources are used in Australia for these purposes, the quality of the data sources with respect to relevance, accessibility and accuracy is not clear.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This scoping review aims to identify and appraise publicly available data sources describing the Australian health workforce. The review will include any data source (eg, registry, administrative database and survey) or document reporting a data source (eg, journal article, report) on the Australian health workforce, which is publicly available and describes the characteristics of the workforce. The search will be conducted in 10 bibliographic databases and the grey literature using an iterative process. Screening of titles and abstracts will be undertaken by two investigators, independently, using Covidence software. Any disagreement between investigators will be resolved by a third investigator. Documents/data sources identified as potentially eligible will be retrieved in full text and reviewed following the same process. Data will be extracted using a customised data extraction tool. A customised appraisal tool will be used to assess the relevance, accessibility and accuracy of included data sources.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The scoping review is a secondary analysis of existing, publicly available data sources and does not require ethics approval. The findings of this scoping review will further our understanding of the quality and availability of data sources used for health workforce and health services planning in Australia. The results will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences targeted at health workforce and public health topics.

PMID: 31969370 [PubMed – in process]