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Quality Improvement

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 indicate focusing on quality improvement should be based on evidence produced from the practice's own data.

One way this can be gathered is data audit and analysis from the practice’s 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.

Quality Improvement activities can help your practice to:

  • Build a strong practice team where everyone feels their contribution is valid and appreciated
  • Promote a culture of collaboration and continuing improvement
  • Identify areas or processes which could be more efficient (cost savings and better use of staff time)
  • Motivate staff to provide a high quality service 
  • Offer patients a safe and comprehensive healthcare service
  • Optimise clinical care for better health outcomes
  • Identify opportunities for new patient initiatives which may lead to better patient engagement or improved financial viability
  • Provide evidence to support quality improvement initiatives as part of Accreditation
  • Demonstrating data driven quality improvement to meet with new PIP QI

For general practices, high-quality patient health data is becoming more and more essential for quality improvement activities. It also allows your practice to better understand and identify its own patient cohort. This supports more effective healthcare delivery at both an individual and local population level.

The New PIP QI

A new PIP - Quality Improvement (QI) Incentive will start on 1 August 2019. This PIP is designed to encourage improvements in quality care, enhance capacity, improve access and improve health outcomes for patients. Read more about the new PIP QI.

Data Quality Improvement Program

Our data quality improvement program is a service that is designed to support your practice in pro-actively managing specific patient populations, such as chronic disease, by utilising the data in the practice’s clinical software.  It is based on one of the largest and most successful primary care improvement programs, the Australian Primary Care Collaborative. 
Data extraction tools are designed to make analysis of your data as simple and as easy as possible. It lets you look for sources of revenue, build and maintain disease registers and even highlight coding errors. These tools are essential for helping your practice profitability and your patient care.  NBMPHN use Pencat Clinical Audit Tool (PenCAT or CATPlus) which is a piece of software that analyses data within your practice’s clinical software.

The data is presented in tabular and graphical formats in order to allow you to easily understand trends within your practice.

The data can be used to:

  • Build registers of patients, support practice recall and reminder registers
  • Investigate and identify population health issues that are specific to your own practice
  • Quickly and easily identify patients who are not meeting clinical targets
  • Identify key health outcome measures for an individual patient
  • Identify eHealth data quality CDSA indicators
  • Support PIP QI and other Quality Improvement programs
  • Identify income potential in areas of chronic disease management
  • Provide evidence to support quality improvement initiatives as part of Accreditation

CatPlus can assist your practice to meet its full potential by: 

  • Understanding objective patterns and trends to improve chronic disease management
  • Identify improvement areas: performance gaps, safety issues
  • Support financial opportunities -PIP QI
  • Allow for benchmarking
  • Providing motivation for staff

Security of patient data                                  

PenCAT is controlled by the practice, at no point does any identifiable patient data leave your practice. The data extraction tool deidentifies your data at your practice and sends the encrypted data securely to us. It does not upload any of your financial information. Privacy is our top priority. Depending on which extraction tool you use and how it is set up, your data may be uploaded automatically.

How do I get started? 

Please complete the form below to register your interest in our Data Quality Improvement Program. For any questions or further information about PenCAT, please contact your Primary Health Support Officer at Nepean Blue Mountains PHN on 4708 8100 or contact us online

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quality improvement