Statement: Managing general practice data

Statement: Managing general practice data

02 August, 2019
  • PHNs are a trusted recipient of general practice data. The majority of general practices across Australia (over 65%) already provide data to PHNs, and have been doing so for many years.  

  • PHNs only collect de-identified data aggregated at the practice level, we do not have access to individual patient records.   

  • EMPHN provides the data extraction tool POLAR GP free to general practices to use.  

  • 66% of general practices in our catchment use POLAR GP to provide data, which is used for quality improvement in their general practice and population health planning by EMPHN.  

  • EMPHN’s data sharing agreements specify we will never use general practice data for commercial gain.  

  • POLAR GP has robust and verified data governance structures in place.

  • Using POLAR GP EMPHN provides general practices with Practice Reports, which are highly valued by general practices to improve their quality of care. 

How it works: 

  • Data is collected at an aggregated practice level, so no individual patient data is collected. 

  • PIP QI is governed by the PIP Eligible Set Data Governance Framework 

  • Primary Health Networks are the nominated local data custodians, and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare are the national data custodians for general practice data.  Both agencies have clearly defined responsibilities for the security and data governance of the PIP Eligible Data Set data .

  • We are working with other PHNs on a National Data Storage and Analysis Solution to ensure a consistent approach to data governance across all PHNs and build upon existing data security arrangements. 

  • If patients don’t want their data used, they can opt out. Instructions on how to do this in POLAR are available here.