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Conference Abstracts

Population based planning: guiding evidence-based investment in healthcare to achieve population health outcomes


Nicola Callard ,

Children's Health Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, AU
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Frank Tracey

Children's Health Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, AU
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As the sustainability of Australia’s health systems are challenged by increasing demand and cost, the complex relationship of health and well-being with wider social determinants and our ability to deliver value-based care is critical.

Short description

Children’s Health Queensland (CHQ) has been working with partners across sectors to establish a common evidence base to support population-based planning that is responsive to the social determinants of health. Insights are visualised in an interactive dashboard that translate this conceptual framework into a practical tool that integrates over 30 data sets to describe the health and wellbeing status of Queensland children at a local community level to inform planning.


This initiative breaks down traditional models for health service planning, by taking a population-based perspective that is underpinned by the social determinants of health.

Targeted population and stakeholders          

This initiative has inspired a range of stakeholders to consider the role of population health intelligence in planning for better outcomes. Alongside traditional planning methodologies, CHQ’s population health initiative has informed the work of a number of agencies outside of CHQ.


The initiative has been designed and developed within business as usual resourcing over the 18 month development phase which has required collaboration as well as focus and commitment across multiple parts of the organisation.

Highlights (innovation, impact and outcomes)

A key objective of this initiative is to identify opportunities to refine investment and service models to improve their reach and impact. By offering insights about community level (SA2) need, service utilisation and outcomes on a range of health and wellbeing indicators (including the social determinants of health), the dashboard provides actionable insights about which communities have greater need and utilisation of public sector funded services.

Using infographics and data packs, supported by strategic population-based planning advice, CHQ has supported several agencies to identify and harness opportunities to reinvest, repurpose, and reallocate existing resources to optimise their impact.

Comments on sustainability

This initiative has offered the Queensland system a practical approach to decision makers across sectors to make integrated and value-based decisions that are oriented to the needs of the population.

Comments on transferability

This initiative is challenging the status quo on how the system makes commissioning and investment decisions and the logic and methodology can be generalised and applied to the adult population, as well as outside of the health sector.

Conclusions (comprising key findings)

By weaving the principles of social equity, integrated care and proportionate universalism through the design of the dashboard and supporting collateral, CHQ is offering clinical teams, planners and commissioners practical strategies and tools that enable population-based infrastructure, workforce and service planning.


Reliable population health data equips leaders with person-centred insights and evidence to support prioritization of health challenges, policy development, resource deployment/investment and measurement of success.

Lessons learned

The learnings from the incubation and development stages of this population health innovation can now inform CHQ’s approach to innovation and improvement, including the enabling conditions, processes and structures that promote innovative thinking and creative problem solving.

How to Cite: Callard N, Tracey F. Population based planning: guiding evidence-based investment in healthcare to achieve population health outcomes. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2021;20(S1):89. DOI:
Published on 26 Feb 2021.


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