IF eNews July


In this issue

Closing the Gap: Measure and Act. Are you up for the challenge?

Imagine turning 65 and being one of the oldest people in your community.

Your brothers and sisters and most of your old school friends won’t be with you to celebrate because they are all dead. You are sad, and frustrated, because you know that many of them died from preventable illnesses like diabetes or heart disease.

For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, this scenario is very real. Despite recent improvements in educational and some health outcomes, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to experience greater ill-health and can expect to die around 10 years earlier than other Australians.

The experience for Mick Roberts (a participant in the Australian Primary Care Collaboratives Program) came well before his 65th birthday. “This is personal. I am considered an elder in my community. Most of my brothers and sisters, and the friends I went to school with, have passed on due to diabetes and heart disease. I am 50. The work we do here is personal, and very important. It’s our job to make things better.”

Mick laid the challenge squarely at our feet. It’s our job to make things better. But how can you can make a difference?

You can start by joining the Improvement Foundation’s (IF) Closing the Gap: Measure and Act initiative. We are inviting general practices around Australia to submit data on key health indicators. This will help us to see where the gaps are, enabling general practices and other health services to better respond to specific health issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It is easy to participate, and there’s no cost to join.

If you are one of the many practices already submitting data to qiConnect, IF’s web portal, each month, there is nothing extra to do.

If you are no longer submitting data, it is easy to get set up onto qiConnect and you get the additional benefits of access to the qiCommunity discussion forums, webinars and the accumulated resources from eight years of the Australian Primary Care Collaborative (APCC) Program. You will be able to track your clinical measures over time on qiConnect, and you can be one of the first practices to use the Practice Dashboard, which will be released in the next few weeks.

Are you up for the challenge?

Find out more about Closing the Gap: Measure and Act and get access to qiConnect to submit data visit www.improve.org.au/ctg.

eHealth dashboard now available in qiConnect

Improvement Foundation has implemented a range of new clinical indicators in qiConnect, IF’s free online quality improvement portal.. The new indicators can be viewed in a dashboard format making it easier for users to view their data and compare them against national averages.

The indicators are the first of their type to be collected nationally and were developed in consultation with National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), Australian Medicare Local Alliance (AML Alliance) and leading healthcare practitioners. The measures include:

  • Medication List Currency (in the last 12 months)
  • Patients with an uploaded Shared Health Summary
  • Total Shared Health Summaries uploaded or re-uploaded in the previous 12 months
  • Total unique Shared Health Summaries uploaded or re-uploaded in the previous 12 months
  • Average number of Shared Health Summaries uploaded or re-uploaded in the previous 12 months
  • Median age (in months) of all unique Shared Health Records uploaded
  • Average age (in months) of all unique Shared Health Records uploaded
  • Patients with verified Individual Health Identifiers
  • Event Summary Uploads

Not only will these measures provide general practices overall view of key primary healthcare measures, but they will also enable users to track and measure against national benchmarks and goals set by their team. Additionally, real time feedback graphs identify areas where users can make improvements to their practice systems and then track the results of their improvement efforts.

“We have always used powerful analytics and feedback mechanisms to help primary healthcare professionals harness the power of their clinical data to improve quality, safety and efficiency. These new indicators will provide an additional insight to identify where improvements can be made, as well as the results of improvement initiatives,” said Colin Frick, CEO of IF. “This will support GP’s to improve work practices, business efficiency and ultimately improving health outcomes for their patients.”

The eHealth dashboard is interoperable with many mainstream clinical software systems using the Pen Computer Systems Clinical Audit Tool version 3.11 or later and can be found in qiConnect under My Health Service.

For a detailed specification of the indicators in the new dashboard visit www.improve.org.au/ehealthindicators or to get access to submit data to qiConnect fill in the online registration form on www.improve.org.au.

Improvement Foundation project wins SA iAward

Improvement Foundation, and technology partner OBS, has won the South Australian iAward in the Health category with an innovative technology solution developed for the Improvement Foundation’s client, Western Australian Department of Health (WA Health). The project will now be considered for the national iAwards.

The iAward was received for the design and development of the ‘Vaccination Surveillance System’.

Following incidents of adverse reactions to a flu vaccine, the WA Health and IF worked with OBS to design and deliver a vaccine surveillance system.

The Vaccination Surveillance System identifies and reports adverse immunisation reactions, enabling proactive identification of contaminated or otherwise compromised vaccines. The system makes reporting adverse reactions simple and fast, supporting authorities to identify and remove at-risk vaccines from the health system more quickly. Shortly after its launch, WA Health saw a dramatic increase in the number of patients willing to opt-in to the system.

“Reporting on immunisation reactions has previously been a manual process, requiring vast amounts of people power to proactively telephone and follow up a sample of patients. The automation delivered by this solution lets every single patient be followed up, making it more likely that adverse reactions will be reported,” said Colin Frick, IF’s CEO.

The system is hosted on qiConnect, IF’s secure web portal, which uses Microsoft Web Platform tools. It is a simple-to-use and mobile-friendly application, which was constructed from concept to go-live over a six week period. The application integrates with general practice billing software to securely link patients and their guardians with health practitioners via two-way interactive SMS messaging.

To read the full case study click here https://improve.org.au/projects/wavss/#.U83iBPmSx8E


Business as usual for the Australian Primary Care Collaboratives Program

IF is currently working with the Department to develop the implementation plan for the 2014-15 financial year, taking into considering the changes announced by the Federal Government in the 2014-15 Budget.

The implementation plan will see the current Program Waves continue to completion. This includes:

  • Wave 9 – Diabetes Prevention and Management
  • Wave 10 – Cardiovascular Disease and Chronic Kidney Disease, and
  • Medicare Local Quality Improvement Partnership.

IF will provide further updates in coming weeks through our mailing lists and the next edition of IF’s eNews.


qiCommunity free webinar – Creating Value in the Clinical Microsystem

Are you interested in finding out how Clinical Microsystems can impact the work healthcare professionals undertake? qiCommunity guest speaker Julie Johnson, MSPH, PhD is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Deputy Director of the Centre for Clinical Governance Research at the University of New South Wales, . She will be discussing how value is created in healthcare.

Julie will discuss the three value models (shop, chain, and network) and the implications for our work as healthcare professionals working in clinical microsystems. The session will be facilitated by Dr Tony Lembke.

Julie’s career interests involve building a series of collaborative relationships to improve the quality and safety of health care through teaching, research, and clinical improvement. She uses qualitative methods to better understand processes of care and the effect of the care process on clinical teams, teamwork, and patients and families. She also works across the continuum of health professions education to teach students, health professions trainees, and faculty about quality improvement and how to develop strategies to integrate improvement into the daily work of patient care. Associate Professor Johnson has a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina and a PhD in evaluative clinical sciences from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

As a teacher, Julie has a special interest in developing and using serious games as a way to engage learners in the health professions around important concepts related to understanding and improving the quality and safety of healthcare. She has been an Associate Editor of BMJ Quality and Safety since 2002.

Improvement Foundation’s Upcoming qiCommunity webinar “Creating Value in the Clinical Microsystem” will be held on the 12 August 2014, commencing at 7pm (AEST).
Don’t miss out on what will be an insightful discussion, click here to register now!


A DRAT a day keeps diabetes away

Practices in the Australian Primary Care Collaboratives (APCC) Program have completed more than 8,500 Diabetes Risk Assessments (DRAT) with their patients in the past 18 months. Why are DRATs measured in the APCC? For people at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes this test can be the catalyst to making lifestyle changes that prevent the onset of the disease.

The Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment (AUSDRISK) is one test you don’t want to get a high score in. But, with diabetes on the rise in Australia it’s a good test to take if you want to know whether you’re at risk of developing the disease.

Many Australians, particularly those over 40, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 15, are at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes through lifestyle factors, such as poor nutrition and physical inactivity. So, for the past 18 months, practices involved in the APCC Program have encouraged more than 8,500 patients to take the simple AUSDRISK test.

Patients taking the test who are identified as being at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes within five years can now work collaboratively with their general practitioner to make lifestyle changes like losing weight, eating better, stopping smoking and being more active. These are changes that can prevent, or delay the onset of the disease.

Click the links to find out more about Type 2 Diabetes and the AUSDRISK tool To view all the APCC wave 8 and 9 results click here.


Want to provide other staff in your practice access to qiConnect?

With qiConnect’s updated online Registration form, you can now add additional users to your qiConnect account, quickly and easily!. Register more of your colleagues to qiConnect and they can assist you with implementing your quality improvement plans. Plus, new users will be able to access all of qiCommunity’s resources, discussion forums and webinars.

Register today

Fill out the online qiConnect registration form with the details of the additional users* and we’ll then add them to your organisation’s health service’s account. Each user will be directly emailed with their login details.

*Additional users are not able to make any changes to anyone else’s account and will need approval by the health service’s Authorised User.


Top 5 resources

Our resource sleuths have been busy again finding great resources to share with you in this edition.

COAG’s commitment to Closing the Gap
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet website has a useful Closing the Gap site – for people interested in finding out more about the Closing the Gap commitments of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) visit http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/closing-the-gap?gclid=CLOnoNOPxL8CFRaVvAod7S0AVg

Identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australian general practice
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has a downloadable PDF resource on their website called Identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australian general practice. This could be helpful for providing staff with guidelines on how to ask the question, and how to record the answer in your clinical software. http://www.racgp.org.au/yourracgp/faculties/aboriginal/guides/identification/

A Good First Step to Any Improvement Project
Have you embraced quality improvement and all it has to offer, but are struggling to convince your colleagues that it’s worth doing? This short video provides some general principles that we think you’ll find useful for engaging colleagues within your organisation.

How to write great abstracts
So, you’ve got a great story to tell about work you’ve been doing and want to share it in a journal article or conference presentation. Where do you start? Abstracts are usually no more than 150-500 words, so you want to do it well. This PHCRIS Getting Started Guide provides tips and information to help you.

Health Coaching, Exploring Capacity podcast
The most recent qiCommunity webinar featured David Menzies, Manager of Quality Systems and Health Partnerships at Fitness Australia, who discussed health coaching and how it can practically be implemented in general practice. He also provided tips on how Motivational Interviewing can elicit behavioural change, by helping patients explore and resolve ambivalence. The podcast is now available in qiConnect. Click here to access the podcast.

Can’t access the resources or discussion forum in qiConnect? Its free to get access, just click here to join.

If you find a resource you think is worth sharing, let us know at newsletter@improve.org.au

July 30, 2014

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