Data hosting: Primary Health Insights

Primary Health Insights: Secure, Safe Primary Care Data

About Primary Health Insights

Primary Health Insights is a cloud-based digital platform developed for the secure storage and analysis of de-identified general practice and other health data. Advanced analytics tools enable the generation of greater insights into population health, which when used by general practice, PHNs and other health providers, can be used to drive improved health outcomes.

Data driven health decisions require the confidence of stakeholders that their data is stored securely, governed responsibly and their privacy is protected. The development of Primary Health Insights was guided by the need for these to be critical and fundamental parts of the platform. Details of its best-in-class data security and cyber protection measures are available here.

Primary Health Insights operates under strict data governance rules laid out in the National Data Governance Framework and features:

  • Individually secure lockboxes where PHNs store, analyse and report on their data. PHNs alone can access their own lockbox and are the custodians of data stored inside it.
  • Collaboration zones, where PHNs can choose to share data and create new data sets to drive greater insight into population health and healthcare needs. These zones are individually secured, governed and protected within the platform.

The platform is, and will remain, solely owned by all of the Primary Health Networks (PHNs).  Initiated, designed, built and used by PHNs, Primary Health Insights operations are funded by its participants based on their use of its facilities and services.  As PHNs are not for profit organisations, so Primary Health Insights is funded and operated not for profit.  The platform is governed by PHN representatives drawn from each jurisdiction of Australia.

The secure, segregated nature of the platform’s storage and collaboration structures, as well as the PHNs National Data Governance Framework, means that approved organisations other than PHNs (such as universities, health research bodies, not-for-profits and government institutions) may join the platform and pose no risk to the security or privacy of patients’ and practices’ data held by PHNs.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare joins Primary Health Insights

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has become an approved Primary Health Insights participant and is expected to be onboarded by mid-2023.

The AIHW is an independent statutory Australian Government agency. It produces authoritative and accessible information and statistics to inform and support better policy and service delivery decisions, leading to better health and wellbeing for all Australians.  It manages controlled access to Australia’s most comprehensive collection of health and welfare data and delivers a full range of data services.

With over 30 years’ experience working with health and welfare data the AIHW enjoys national and international recognition for its statistical expertise and proven track record in providing high quality, independent evidence. This would not be achievable without its robust governance arrangements and strong privacy and confidentiality controls.

The AIHW received funding in the May 2018 Federal Budget to develop an enduring National Primary Health Care Data Collection (PHCDC) to fill a long-standing information gap in relation to primary health care data for population health monitoring, research, policy, and planning.

Participation in Primary Health Insights will further AIHW’s primary care data development activities by providing a ready built platform for collating, storing, analysing and managing appropriate access to data from the PHCDC.

AIHW participation in Primary Health Insights will benefit PHNs by contributing resources towards key initiatives including platform enhancements like ISO 27001 accreditation, building analytics capacity and enabling PIP QI related process improvements that enhance data quality and efficiency.

The Agreement under which the AIHW becomes a Primary Health Insights participant does not provide it with access to PHNs’ data, which is held securely in their lockboxes. Any data sharing between PHNs and the AIHW within the platform may only occur in line with agreements that define which data sets are to be shared and which in turn must comply with the Data Sharing Agreements held by PHNs and their general practices.

As key stakeholders in primary care planning, continuity of care and local level service delivery, PHNs look forward to this collaboration with the AIHW and the benefits it can bring to the delivery of primary health care.

For further information about Primary Health Insights visit FAQs provide further information for general practices.


While the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care has contributed to the funding of this website, the information on this website does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government and is not advice that is provided, or information that is endorsed, by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is not responsible in negligence or otherwise for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.