The Ministry recently sought feedback on the draft refresh of the Ethnicity Data Protocols for the Health and Disability Sector.
The Ethnicity Data Protocols for the Health and Disability Sector were developed by the Ministry of Health in 2004. These outline clear requirements for the standardised collection, recording, and output of ethnicity data. The aim is to improve the completeness and quality of ethnicity data collected and used in health to ensure these are comparable with population source data (ie, census population estimates).
Similarly, in 2005 Statistics New Zealand released its Statistical Standard for Ethnicity, which provided guidance on ethnicity data for all-of-government. An alignment of the protocols with the standards was done in 2009.
Last year, the Ministry made the policy decision that the sector should move from coding ethnicity data at Level 2 to Level 4, and for electronic systems to have the capacity to store up to six ethnicities (previously three).
This decision has led to a refresh of the protocols which has been undertaken by a working group comprising of Ministry and Statistics New Zealand officials, as well as health sector experts. The refreshed protocols focus on further improving the quality of ethnicity data collection, recording and output in the health sector. The revision has been informed by the literature on specific ethnicity data issues, the changing IT environment, the results of the Ministry’s Primary Care Ethnicity Data Audit Toolkit implementation, and other ethnicity data audit work and feedback from key sector stakeholders.
The consultation period for this standard is now closed and feedback is currently being reviewed by a working group.