The 2003/04 Budget saw the announcement of the introduction of the National Primary Care Collaboratives Program in Australia. Collaborative Methodology had proved highly successful in the UK, delivered by the National Primary Care Development Team, (which later was renamed as the UK Improvement Foundation).
The Australian federal government wished to drive similar improvements in primary health care in Australia. Two Australian teams from Flinders Consulting trained in the UK with National Primary Care Development Team to facilitate implementation and share considerable intellectual property.
From 2004 to 2007 the National Primary Care Collaboratives quality improvement methodology was delivered through 43 Divisions of General Practice to 615 general practices, 630 GPs and 370 additional practice team members.
September 2007 – The Improvement Foundation (IF) won the tender to implement the Australian Primary Care Collaboratives Program.
From 2008, the Australian Primary Care Collaboratives Program delivered four Collaborative ‘waves’ on the topics of diabetes, chronic heart disease and access and care redesign. As additional funding was made available, further topics, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and prevention, and patient self-management were also developed and delivered
September 2009 – Launch of the IF Web Portal, qiConnect. This secure web portal enabled users to upload and monitor their improvement measures, as well as navigate to a range of quality improvement tools, indicators, and resources. It marked the beginning of a key tool for Divisions, Medicare Locals and now PHNs, to monitor their practices’ and health services’ participation and progress in quality improvement programs and initiatives.
July 2010 – IF and our partner OBS won the tender to develop a web based reporting tool (web portal) for the Department of Health and Ageing’s Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH). The web portal, Online Community Health Reporting Environment (OCHREStreams), enables a single, fast, reliable, and efficient transmission of service data, and streamlined reporting from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services to the Department. It replaces the range of separate web based and paper-based processes that services previously had to fill in to report on service activity and program performance.
July 2011 – The Department of Health and Ageing granted the Improvement Foundation a one year extension, to June 2012, to continue delivering the Australian Primary Care Collaboratives Program.
September 2011 – Improve Australia, an Australian not-for-profit organisation made up of a small group of people involved with the Improvement Foundation in Australia, takes over the membership of the Improvement Foundation (Australia) Ltd to make it a 100% Australian-owned organisation.
June 2012 – By now, over 1,100 general practices, more than 90 Divisions of General Practice and approximately 2,300 general practice staff had participated in a Collaborative wave.
September 2012 – IF was awarded a three year contract to deliver the Australian Primary Care Collaboratives Program to 2015. This funding enables the Collaborative Program to be delivered to an additional 500 Australian general practices and health services, including allied health services. In addition it enables extensive training for Medicare Locals with support to embed continuous quality improvement into their work. IF will also be working closely with the Australian Medicare Local Alliance on the design and delivery of this phase of the Program.
December 2012 – The eCollaboratives – 21st Century Patient Care and Self- Management wave began. This wave supported general practices and health services to improve outcomes for patients with chronic disease, improve patient self-management and be ready to use the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record.
October 2013 – The Outreach SharePoint system developed by IF is launched. this web-based software supports CheckUP in coordination of two of the largest outreach specialist services across Queensland.
December 2013 – IF is contracted to support eight Queensland disability organisations to upskill their teams and adapt work practices that support the set-up and use of eRecords for people with a disability.
Februrary 2014 – IF is contracted to coordinate the Fitness Australia Quality Awards. IF conducts the award submission process, evaluation process, review entries and conduct site visits nationally.
March 2014 – Department of Health renews the OCHREStreams contract with IF for a further 3 year term. The Western Australia (WA) Vaccination Surveillance System is launched. IF and technology partner OBS work with IF’s client, the WA Department of Health to design and deliver a vaccine surveillance system that helps identify and report adverse immunisations reactions.
July 2014 – The qiWebinar series was introduced offering quality improvement training enabling organisations to join in from all over Australia
August 2014 – Work commenced with the Victorian Workcover Authority to develop a training package and deliver training to staff involved in their WorkHealth Improvement Networks with participants from public hospitals and the manufacturing sector
September 2014 – Closing the Gap program commenced
October 2014 – A new and improved practice dashboard designed to assist practices with their quality improvement work was implemented in qiConnect. A recognition system was introduced to acknowledge and reward the quality improvement efforts of qiConnect users
November 2014 – APCC Integrated Care Program started in collaboration with Townsville Hospital and local general practices. APCC inaugural Practice Nurse and Practice Manager programs commenced
December 2014 – Inaugural Improving Healthcare International Convention was announced to be convened in November 2015
February 2015 – Introduction of a new Innovation Collaborative for Primary Health Networks.
March 2015 – Work commenced with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care on the development of a Patient Blood Management Collaborative
April 2015 – A successful ISO 9001 quality management system audit was held marking four years as a qualified quality improvement organisation
June 2015 – New data extraction software – Canning Tool was introduced to extract clinical measures to import into qiConnect. Contracted by Fitness Australia to assist with development of their Quality Improvement Accreditation Program