APCC add new measures to practice reporting program

Australian Primary Care Collaboratives Program has introduced new measures to help practices improve patient care.

Following review by the Australian Primary Care Collaboratives (APCC) Program’s Expert Reference Panels and consultation with national expert organisations, the Program is improving how practices report by introducing a range of changes to the Program measures this month.

In 2005 the APCC Program (then National Primary Care Collaboratives) introduced measures to support and track practice improvement. These measures have proven to be a sound basis for measuring key aspects of the Program, including the care provided by practices.

“The current APCC Program measurement set has now been updated to reflect the latest evidence and also introduces new measures that are all designed to help produce better outcomes for patients and practices”, said Colin Frick, Chief Operating Officer, Improvement Foundation Australia.

Mr Frick said the Program “is also taking the opportunity to introduce additional clinical areas of measurement, such as COPD and prevention measures. Many APCC practices have achieved significant improvement in CHD and Diabetes and will now have the capacity to measure improvements in other clinical areas”.

While the Program has introduced the capacity to collect and report on additional measures, and encourages practices to do so, it is not a Program requirement.

APCC Program coordinator, the Improvement Foundation Australia (IFA), has worked with the RACGP and national bodies, such as the Heart Foundation, Diabetes Australia and the National Lung Foundation, to ensure consistency in the measurement approach adopted by the APCC Program.

The APCC has reached an agreement with the RACGP to customise reports within the Pen Computer Systems’ Clinical Audit Tool (CAT), with IFA providing the APCC reporting function within CAT at no cost to participating practices and Divisions. As an adjunct to this arrangement, Pen Computer Systems is providing APCC practices with a two month trial of the unrestricted version of CAT.

In other developments, IFA is making it easier for practices to submit data by introducing electronic data submission to the Program’s secure reporting website. The website also allows practices to review feedback graphs and access a broad range of Program materials.

“IFA is making the technical specifications for the new measurement set and electronic submission available to all software vendors. All software vendors will have the opportunity to continue supporting quality improvement within their products. While some of the new measures require changes in the clinical software before data capture and reporting can occur, we are confident that clinical software vendors will see the significant benefits for their customers in the suggested approach and schedule changes into software updates,” says Mr Frick.

The first phase of the Program achieved significant outcomes for practices and patients and new APCC Program waves will be starting soon. Practices involved in the current phase are also achieving excellent results and IFA looks forward to continuing to work with the Divisions’ network to further spread quality improvement across primary care.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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