MedicineInsight spotting gaps in prescribing practice

Two hundred general practices have signed up to take part in NPS MedicineWise's MedicineInsight program, which is gathering de-identified data from general practice clinical software to evaluate and improve prescribing practices.

Launched in March last year, MedicineInsight is a four-year program that ultimately aims to sign up 500 general practices to look at data from two million patient episodes.

It is using a data extraction tool developed with the University of Melbourne that sits in the background and captures data from the coded fields in Best Practice and Medical Director such as diagnosis, prescriptions, referrals, pathology results and biomedical measures.

The data from each practice is used to give a tailored analysis of prescribing and clinical activity, with each practice receiving a meaningful report every six months as part of quality improvement processes, program manager Nancy Huang said.

“It is good to have visibility of these changes over time for practices,” she said. “NPS MedicineWise delivers these reports to practices through a whole-of-practice meeting where we discuss prescribing practices and how improvements to prescribing safety and patient outcomes may be made.”

Early results in the first year have concentrated on type 2 diabetes, with the data showing that participating practices are predominantly prescribing metformin as first line therapy, Dr Huang said.

Around 90 per cent of patients with type 2 diabetes are having their smoking status recorded by practices, and, where recorded, the percentage of patients reaching HbA1c targets has increased over the last five years.

It also shows that 90 per cent of GPs are able to identify potential gaps and 70 per cent would take future actions such as improving their data quality and reviewing and recalling patients.

The program is live in Victoria, NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania following a proof-of-concept trial with 10 practices in Victoria early last year. Other states are expected to follow.

The program also initially hoped to involve Zedmed users, which Dr Huang said was still in the plans.

A survey of participating practices shows that all of them found the visit and report to be useful, NPS said.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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