Digital information can transform the quality and sustainability of healthcare. Used effectively, it can help save lives, improve health and wellbeing and support a sustainable health system which delivers safe, high quality and effective health services for all Australians.
Improvement in general practice data can involve examining practice structures, systems and clinical care. This data can be gathered from patient or staff feedback, an audit of clinical databases or the analysis of near misses and mistakes.
South Western Sydney PHN (SWSPHN) supports QI in general practice with strategies to embed QI systems, improve data quality, analyse the practice’s data and identify areas for improvement, assist with goal setting and improvement activities, provide progress reports and feedback. Ultimately, quality improvement activities will lead to improved clinical care and patient outcomes in general practice.
What is the QIPC program?
The QI model
The Quality Improvement in Primary Care (QIPC) program is built on years of collaboration between SWSPHN and general practices to improve and maintain practice processes to meet regulated standards.
The three aims of the QIPC program are: improving data quality; utilising practice data to improve patient care; and identifying potential business revenue for the practice.
The QIPC program has three tiers which indicate the practice’s level of engagement in quality improvement – as engagement increases, practices move into higher tiers and receive different reports.
What are the benefits of participation?
There are many benefits to practices participating. These include:
- 40 Category 1 Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) points and for GPs participating in Tier 3
- Enhance data management to meet accreditation standards
- Improve patient care while identifying potential business revenue
- Establishing sustainable systems and processes for the practice
- Links to referral pathways
Who is eligible?
All practices in South Western Sydney are eligible to participate if they use the following clinical software:
- Best Practice
How does the program work?
SWSPHN subsidises the POLAR GP tool for participating practices. This tool translates data into real statistical and graphical information which is easy to understand and action.
QIPC reports are created online with up-to-date data from the QIPC Clinic Report.
The practice uses this report to identify an area they would like to work on and SWSPHN records this on a model for improvement (MFI) template. This MFI is then reviewed during the following visit to track the practice’s progress and to re-identify a new focus area to target for the following quarter.
This allows practitioners to assess and improve both quality and completeness of patient information and assists the practice with accreditation, supporting high-quality patient care and identifying business potential.
POLAR GP allows general practices to contribute de-identified practice data which informs population health analysis to better understand the health needs of South Western Sydney. The QIPC reports also allow practices to compare their practice with RACGP standards and other practices within the region.
Find out more
- Quality Improvement Resources to find more information about the SWSPHN polices which govern the QIPC program.
- POLAR GP to find more information about the software SWSPHN provides.
- Contact your SWSPHN Practice Support Officer on 02 4632 3000 for installation.
- SWSPHN’s Health Systems Improvement Team at [email protected]
GP shares benefits of QIPC program
Dr Dilruni Pallewatta, Liverpool
“The QI program from PHN has immensely helped me to improve my data quality and patient management especially in regard to diabetes. I myself have learned a lot and greatly advise other practices to join this program.”