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Data Analysis Support

Accurate and real-time data is pivotal to general practice. Data is a tool for learning and can drive process change across many levels to improve patient health outcomes. As part of the broader Nepean Blue Mountains PHN population health and general practice engagement strategy, the PenCS suite of audit tools are available at no cost to all general practices in our catchment area. 

The PEN CS Clinical Audit Tool, or PEN CAT as it’s commonly referred to, is a clinical audit tool that allows practices to analyse data, devise the necessary strategies to improve patient care and report on quality improvement activities undertaken by the practice. In short, it optimises patient health outcomes while enhancing business capabilities for the general practice. It is a combination of these technologies that provides decision support tools to health providers (Topbar), extracts general practice data for practice analysis (CAT4  or Pen Cat) and aggregates general practice data for PHN service planning, reporting and population health needs (PAT CAT). 

Data extraction tools are designed to make analysis of your data as simple and as easy as possible. The tools provide a broad range of benefits to general practices looking to improve data quality and ensuring patient records are accurate and up to date. Practices can also use the Pen suite of tools to help target patients with specific needs of health risk profiles, namely in chronic disease management, cancer screening, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, immunisations, medication reviews, sexual health, eHealth and preventative health to name a few. 

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 PDSA 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

Support and training

Contact your Practice Support Officer to access training in using data extraction tools.

Pen CS Support desk

  • Available Monday-Friday 8.30am-6.30pm
  • Freecall: 1800 762 993
  • Email:

Pen CS Webinars

CAT4 Recipes

  • Step-by-step guides on the clinical, business and operational functionality available to health services

Pen CS Online Help

For more information please contact us on 4708 8100.

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. 

Secondary use of general practice data

In healthcare, the primary use of data collected to treat a patient is to provide the patient with the care they need. Secondary use of data is when this data is used outside of the general practice setting, for purposes other than which it was originally collected.

The RACGP have developed new resources to help practices evaluate requests for data for secondary use, minimise risk, and comply with relevant legislation.