Quality Improvement

Current quality improvement programs

We support practices to undertake quality improvement activities in two quality improvement (QI) programs. Our work with general practices in our QI programs aims to reduce risk factors and improve clinical outcomes for individuals at risk of development chronic disease such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma and cancer

We have partnered with the University of Notre Dame and the George Institute to offer two unique QI programs to meet your particular interests and needs.

  1. Putting Data into Practice (PDIP) program
  2. Q Pulse - Cardiovascular Program

Overview of quality in general practice

Practices need to engage in activities to improve quality and safety for patients in areas such as practice structures, systems, processes and clinical care.

The RACGP standards for general practice indicates focusing on quality improvement should be based on evidence produced from the practice's own data. One way this can be gathered is audit and analysis of data from the practices clinical database using a clinical audit data extraction tool.

Measuring quality focuses on a multi-dimensional approach of the interactions between structure, processes and outcomes.

Changes to PIP in General Practice

This new measure will bring a new Quality Improvement (QI) incentive into the Practice Incentives Program (PIP).

The new QI incentive will aim to improve:

  • Access to care
  • Detection and management of chronic conditions, and
  • Quality, safety, performance and accountability

General practices eligible to participate in the PIP can apply for the QI incentive from 1 May 2018.

The practice must commit to:

  • Quality improvement activities, and
  • Sharing de-identified general practice data. This will be against agreed measures.

Some PIP incentive payments will also cease on 30 April 2018. These will be for Asthma, Cervical Screening, Diabetes, Aged Care Access and Quality Prescribing.

For more details, visit the Department of Human Services website.

Quality of health records

Quality health records are essential to facilitate safe, accurate sharing of health information between health professionals to achieve safe and effective patient care.

Audit of your practices data, processes and systems are important and the outcomes of the audit can indicate target areas for quality improvement of health records, such as:

  • Completeness of content in patient health records like allergy status, smoking status and other health summary information.
  • Consistency in standardising processes for entering data in line with a nationally recognised coding system
  • Accessibility of information that has been recorded when you need to retrieve it or share it in a timely manner.

Focusing on clinical quality improvement

Practices can focus on activities specifically designed to improve clinical care or the health of their entire practice population. For example a clinical quality improvement area could focus on improving care of patients with diabetes.

Sample processes for an audit of clinical data

  1. Conduct clinical audit, utilise a data extraction tool
  2. Record outcomes of clinical audit
  3. Document proposed actions following clinical audit including delegated responsibilities
  4. Keep evidence of implementation
  5. Document plans to follow up

How can we support your practice?

  • Strategies to embed quality improvement in your practice
  • How to analyse your practices own data to identify areas for quality improvement
  • Assist with goal setting and activities
  • Measuring quality improvement in your practice
  • Progress reports and feedback

For further information please contact CESPHN on either 9799 0933 (Ashfield) or 9330 9900 (Kogarah) and ask to speak to a QI officer in the National Health Priorities team.

Further information and resources