Sydney Local Health District is establishing a new unit called the Public Health Observatory ("Observatory"). The role of the Observatory will be to provide accessible, timely and relevant information to the Health Service, clinicians, managers and the community about the distribution of disease, injury, health, risk behaviours and social determinants of health in SLHD. A focus of the Observatory will be to provide analyses to senior managers to enable decisions to be made to improve health and reduce inequities in the health of the population and in the delivery of healthcare.
The work of the Observatory will be to describe and analyse the health and health-related data relevant to the SLHD population. However, there may be scope to conduct some health services research which is relevant to population health, population need or equity.
Over time, the Observatory's purpose might be broadened to develop and report on key measures of equity for services and programs (including population health programs and health care services). The Observatory could then provide information to enable decisions to be made about services across the continuum of health to maximise population health and health outcomes.
In order to develop a better understanding of the scope and potential use of available health information for stakeholders, the Observatory will investigate current best practice and undertake reviews of evidence about effective dissemination of health data to stakeholders across the continuum of health to maximise population health and health outcomes.