05 December 2023

A major update of VAHI’s Hospital-acquired complications (HACs) dashboard was released on the VAHI Portal last week. 

The dashboard supports health services to identify and understand variation in the level of complications their patients experience. By highlighting where and when HACs are occurring within health services and giving access to drill down capacity to UR level data, the dashboard enables services to investigate cases and use the learnings to design improvement activities. 

The updated version of the HACs dashboard aligns the data reported with version 3.1 of the HACs specifications produced by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, as well as with the updated risk adjustment models developed by the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority in 2023. Risk-adjusted rates account as far as possible for the differences in patient population and characteristics between hospitals, enabling greater comparability than crude rates alone.

The update restores the capacity to access to visualisations of rolling 12-month counts and rates, as well as funnel plots. The funnel plots show whether health services fall within 95% and 99% confidence limits for each HAC and enable health services to compare their results to their peer groups or across all peer groups. They can also access rolling 12-month observed HACs cases that show whether their performance is improving or deteriorating. Similar data are also now available for risk-adjusted rates over rolling 12-month periods.

VAHI CEO, Dr Lance Emerson said the release will enable health services to compare and interrogate their results. 

 “The re-instating of trend data for risk-adjusted HACs rates and funnel plots in this latest release will support health services to compare their results at peer group or statewide. This is important because we know health services’ ability to compare their results with others helps deliver better outcomes for consumers,’ he said.

The HACs dashboard is available to authenticated users in public health services. If you would like access to the VAHI portal, the team is happy to assist. Simply email [email protected]


The national hospital-acquired complication (HAC) system is a ‘warning light’ for possible health system problems. HACs include 49 possible serious conditions that arise during hospital care which may be amenable to risk mitigation. Forty-three of these measures are available to authenticated users via the interactive HAC dashboard on the VAHI portal. For more information on how you can use HACs to detect complications that warrant investigation in your health service, visit the Don’t ignore the HAC warning light article from VAHI’s Data Analytic Fellow, Dr Graeme Duke, from earlier this year.