EMPHN has coordinated a number of quality improvement programs to support general practice in a variety of topic areas to facilitate a culture of continuous quality improvement. General practices have taken the skills learnt from these programs to target data quality activities, leading to significant changes at a practice level to benefit their patients and staff.

Quality Improvement Program - Diabetes Management

The aim of EMPHN’s QI program was to directly engage with general practices, to focus on improving the management of people with Type 2 diabetes. This program enabled general practices to collaborate with their peers at workshops, sharing ideas and learning from each other’s experiences. It was also an opportunity for EMPHN to recognise and develop local exemplars/champions. 

Participating general practices received in-practice support and step-by-step guides to assist with implementation of team building activities and data cleansing processes. The program provided a platform to teach general practices strategies to improve data quality through:

  • implementation of data cleansing processes to support demographic data, medical history, My Health Record and chronic disease management
  • accurate recording of clinical information within clinical software
  • using POLAR GP clinical audit tool to improve data quality
  • establish accurate diabetes registers
  • develop policies that support data cleansing.

Participants were provided an opportunity to build knowledge and skills to analyse and use data to measure change and identify improvement(s). These were powerful tools in driving the success of the program and highlighted the importance of data quality. This program also allowed for EMPHN to make improvements within POLAR GP to support continuous data quality activities beyond the completion of the program.

Cancer Screening Collaborative – Cervical Screening program

The delivery of the Cancer Screening Collaborative encouraged and supported general practices to develop and test ideas to improve rates of cervical cancer screening. This program provided a platform for general practice to:

  • give their patients the best chance possible of avoiding a preventable cancer diagnosis via screening
  • transition their practice into the renewed National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) introduced in December 2017
  • support women at heightened risk of not screening, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, rural and remote women and women with disabilities
  • build their practice’s capacity to use simple, practical and effective quality improvement methods that can transferable to other priority areas.

Over the nine month period, 15 general practices undertook the following activities:

Engage and support the practice team

  • improved communication
  • setting realistic goals through applying the Model For Improvement
  • data quality activities using POLAR.

Develop a systematic approach to cervical cancer screening

  • creation and dissemination of information on the renewal of the NCSP to patients as well as team members
  • developing effective recall and reminder systems
  • increased education and awareness for identified cohort of women who are under screened
  • undertake cervical screening awareness raising.

Develop a patient centred approach

  • strengthening team’s skills and practice systems in relation to person centred care.

At the completion of this program, there was a 22% increase in screening via Pap testing and the number of women screened for cervical cancer via the new cervical screening test increased from a baseline of zero in November 2017 to 2,452 as of 30 June, 2018.

EMPHN contracted the Improvement Foundation to produce an evaluation report of this Collaborative. Please click here for review of this evaluation.