IF eNews May


In This Issue:

IF0003 Logo Concept 3OCHREStreams contract renewed to 2017

The continuation of OCHREStreams means more than 320 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and Aboriginal Medical Services nationally will continue electronic collection of the National Key Performance Indicators (nKPls) and Online Services Report (OSR) data.

As of 1 March 2014, the Improvement Foundation (IF) received approval from the Department of Health to continue delivering OCHREStreams until 30 June 2017.

The continuation of OCHREStreams will enable the continued electronic collection of the nKPls and OSR data. This data provides consistent up-to-date information on the performance of Indigenous specific health services, supporting them to improve patient outcomes and achieve health related targets:

  • To close the gap in life expectancy within a generation; and
  • To halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five (within a decade)

Further, the continuation of the OCHREStreams system means:

  • Users can access an ongoing web based system for uploading data that can be used for multiple programs and purposes, including continuous quality improvement (CQI) activities
  • There is ongoing access to submitted data, and use of the Pen Clinical Audit Tool (PenCAT) for data extraction, at any time; and
  • Health Services can access existing training materials online, such as User guides and Quick Reference Guides to up-skill new staff.

Access to, and use of, OCHREStreams has grown from 92 Health Services in February 2012, to more than 320 services as at December 2013. In addition to working with the Department of Health to plan, build and implement the OCHREStreams system, IF have trained more than 1000 individuals to use OCHREStreams. “Reporting through OCHREStreams has been straightforward and very user friendly. It was easy to upload the data to OCHREStreams from Pen CAT, and anytime I did have questions, it was great to have the help desk support available. All in all I found it quite easy”. Chantal Slater, The Gathering Place


Mew MeasuresChronic Kidney Disease Measures in qiConnect

The chronic kidney disease (CKD) topic in the latest Australian Primary Care Collaboratives (APCC) Program Wave seeks to improve the identification of patients with CKD to minimise disease progression and reduce the associated risks of cardiovascular disease. To support this work new measures for CKD have been introduced to qiConnect for all general practices and health services to access.

It is estimated that 1.7 million Australians over 25 years of age have chronic kidney disease, but that in 80 to 90% of cases it is undiagnosed. Because there are few, if any symptoms in the earlier stages, a person can lose 90% of kidney function before symptoms appear. It is also one of the few diseases with mortality rates that are worsening over time.

The CKD topic in the latest APCC Program Wave seeks to improve the identification of patients with CKD to minimise disease progression and reduce the associated risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in those patients. Fundamental to this topic is the introduction of early detection of CKD by identifying those at highest risk for opportunistic screening.

The aim for the CKD topic is to increase the screening for CKD to 90% of the practice population who are at high risk. Patients who are considered as high risk include those with hypertension, CVD, diabetes, obesity, or smokers. People who are over the age of 60, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 30 are also considered to be at high risk of developing CKD.

CKD is one of the biggest predictive risk factors for CVD. People with CKD have a 2 to 3 times greater risk of cardiac death. Even early stage CKD is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular events and death. Therefore, if CKD can be detected early and appropriate clinical management is put in place the risks of CVD together with the progression, and possible reversal, of CKD can be reduced by up to 50%.

The challenge is for general practices and health services to incorporate the early detection of CKD into their systems and processes within existing resources. As they work through a Collaborative wave, participants will find themselves using an approach that involves:

  • Testing changes on a small scale prior to wider implementation, which minimises disruption and risk
  • Breaking down complex problems into small, manageable tasks that enables effective prioritisation and targeting of resources
  • Promoting rapid change by focusing on implementing changes that have been successfully tested and lead to improved patient outcomes.

Supporting this work is the regular reporting of CKD measures. By submitting CKD measures regularly to qiConnect, participants can track the results of their improvement work. There are eleven CKD measures now available within qiConnect. All general practices and health services that are submitting data to qiConnect can collect these new measures by going into their PenCAT software, selecting the ‘Data Preferences for Submission’ section and ticking the ‘Chronic Kidney Disease’ measures. General practices and health services do not need to be part of the CKD Wave to submit these measures.


NewseRecords for people with a disability

In an Australian first, the Improvement Foundation are working with eight specialist disability service providers to implement electronic health records for over 20,000 Queenslanders living with a disability.

In an Australian first, IF are working with eight specialist disability service providers to help improve the quality of life for over 20,000 Queenslanders living with a disability by providing them with an electronic health record (eRecord).

Through the eCollaboratives program IF have already worked with hundreds of primary health care providers to prepare their organisations to use electronic health records. Based on the success of this work, IF is supporting eight organisations to upskill their teams and adapt work practices that support the set-up and use of eRecords for people with a disability.

Throughout their lifetime, people with a disability often need to visit a number of support and service providers, and keeping health and personal records up to date with multiple providers can be a challenge.

The electronic health record being implemented through this initiative, ‘My eRecord’, aims to gather a person’s social and health records in one place. People can then choose to share this information with their health care professionals, carers and service providers.

The organisations participating in this initiative are the Endeavour Foundation, Multicap, Cerebral Palsy League, Life Without Barriers, Centacare, Uniting Care Community, FSG Australia and Spinal Injuries Australia and are known as the G8.

‘Using ‘My eRecord’ helps people with disabilities keep important health and social information about themselves in one place; they can then decide who to share it with and when,’ says Jo Jessop, CEO from Multicap.

IF will aprovide dedicated Help Desk support to assist users with the process and any general technical problems that they may encounter.

Extensia have custom designed the eRecord tool for the G8 organisations and records can be readily transferred to PCeHR in the future.



Senator Fiona Nash with IF Board Member Claire Caesar

Assistant Minister for Health, NSW Senator Fiona Nash, acknowledges success of the APCC Program

Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash, acknowledges the success of the APCC Program and how it is “making a real difference to people’s quality of life through a pursuit of excellence and continued improvement.”

More than 150 participants in the Australian Primary Care Collaboratives (APCC) Program Cardiovascular Disease and Chronic Kidney Disease Wave were welcomed to the first learning workshop by Fiona Nash, NSW Senator and Assistant Minister for Health on Friday 14th March.

In her address to participants Senator Nash acknowledged the great success of the APCC Program and how it is “making a real difference to people’s quality of life through a pursuit of excellence and continued improvement.”

She told the audience that the Health Minister, Peter Dutton, has recently initiated a national conversation about the future direction of the nation’s health system. “With increasing costs and a spiralling health bill there is little prospect of meeting the health needs of 21st century Australia, unless we start building sustainability into the system” said Senator Nash.

Senator Nash also explained that “improved Primary Care is key to unlocking real efficiencies in the system by containing costs, ensuring accessibility, managing chronic disease, focusing on preventive health, helping to ease pressure on the hospital system, delivering innovative aged care programs, and achieving and maintaining a sustainable system.

In continuing to provide national quality improvement, the APCC Program has an important role to play, with benefits to the health workforce and fundamentally to patients.

All patients, including those in rural and regional Australia and Indigenous Australians; it is time to bridge the divide; city, country, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike. And the Australian Primary Care Collaborative Program can help us do it.”

The IF team looks forward to seeing the improvements this group of skilled, and enthusiastic health professionals will make as they work their way through the Program.


brett and dale

Brett McPherson with APCC Principal Clinical Advisor Dale Ford

Improving your Practice – Top Tips from the 2014 Improver of the Year

The next qiCommunity webinar on 11 June will feature IF Quality Award winner Brett McPherson from Collins Street Medical Centre.

Dial in to learn how Brett and his team streamlined their new patient registration process, which involved the use of online tools, and established a ‘whole of practice’ relationship with their patients. Brett will discuss how they:

  • created an efficient system for Patient Registration, whilst maintaining high quality patient demographic / clinical data
  • improved access to GP services
  • improved utilisation of the Practice Nurses; and
  • promoted concept of a Practice Primary Care Team.

Brett will also let us in on the secrets he learnt as IF’s guest at the recent Institute for Health Improvement forum in Paris. Register for what promises to be an exciting and informative webinar at https://improve.org.au/event/junewebinar



Survey reveals adaptability of QI methods in APCC Program

apccinfographic2The results are in, and they have an interesting story to tell about the benefits of participating in the APCC Program.

A recent survey of past APCC participants revealed that 100% of survey respondents had applied the skills that they learnt in the program to make improvements within their organisations. While their involvement in the APCC Program had a specific topic focus, the adaptability of the APCC methodology has seen over 80% of participants use their new quality improvement skills to make improvements in other areas of their business ranging from accounting, general practice management, accreditation, immunisation and more.

Additionally, 90% of survey respondents found the APCC Program of ‘great value’ and over 95% of respondents said they would recommend the program to their colleagues. IF looks forward to continue sharing the value of quality improvement with the commencement of another APCC Program wave, which started in March.

Download APCC Value Impact Infographic here.

Want to learn more about how to improve your organisation’s efficiencies and performance with QI techniques? Then contact IF to discuss how we can implement QI in your organisation or train you to do it! Contact our National Program Director Sarah Wrzeszcynski on 08 8422 7466 or email workshops@improve.org.au


IF WebsiteNew IF website

IF’s new website provides you with easy access to the latest QI resources and a schedule of upcoming QI training sessions.

As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance the quality and availability of information to healthcare professionals, IF has launched a new look website. With its improved usability and intuitive navigation structure, users can quickly access the latest QI resources and IF news.

The new Events Calendar features an easy to find list of all our upcoming QI training courses, free webinars, APCC workshops and significant dates. You can simply register online for upcoming training courses via the calendar and also download a Google or Microsoft calendar reminder, ensuring that you never miss an important QI training date!

Additionally, pages and resources can be easily circulated and shared with your colleagues via Twitter and Facebook using the Social Media links.

The new site also provides easy registration to qiConnect with a more accessible online registration form providing you access to the qiCommunity, a secure online network for healthcare professionals to communicate, collaborate, and share QI resources.

See the new look website at www.improve.org.au We’re interested in your feedback, share it with us via Twitter @improveorg or email marcomms@improve.org.au



ToolboxTop 5 Resources

From building blocks and tools to eHealth software demonstrations, we have five more of the best resources for you.

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

1. Health Summary Uploads demonstrated in various software
NEHTA has recorded step by step demonstrations of ‘Uploading Shared Health Summaries and Viewing an eHealth Record’ for Best Practice, Communicare, Genie, Medtech32 and Medical Director.
Visit http://www.nehta.gov.au/for-providers/ehealth-support-tools/software-demonstrations

2. Appointment Zen – shaping demand and matching capacity.
Read about how general practitioners can, by actively managing our appointment systems, reduce waiting times and delays, improve patient care, improve our quality of life and improve practice financial viability. IF’s Clinical Advisor Andrew Knight draws on 10 years of proven experience from the APCC program in this article published in the April issue of Australian Family Physician.
Visit https://improve.org.au/?p=1265

3. Closing the Gap – What are the ‘building blocks’ and how do they fit?
The targets set by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to ‘close the gap’ in Indigenous disadvantage are ambitious and challenging to measure. In order for these targets to be properly monitored and put into action, COAG identified a number of building blocks that need to be addressed
Visit http://bit.ly/buildblock

4. Best Practice Dementia Assessment Tool
Best Practice has added a built-in dementia assessment tool as part of the latest update to its clinical and practice management software. The tool which can be downloaded, has been designed to assist in the measurement, recording and reporting of patient information relating to dementia risk through a risk assessment prompt.
Visit http://www.bpsoftware.com.au

5. The 10 Building Blocks of High-Performing Primary Care.
The authors’ experiences studying exemplar primary care practices, and their work assisting other practices to become more patient centered, led to a formulation of the essential elements of primary care. The authors outline these 10 building blocks of high-performing primary care. Visit http://www.annfammed.org/content/12/2/166

May 15, 2014

Suite 1, Level 3, 12 Pirie Street, Adelaide SA 5000 | PO Box 3645
T: 08 8100 8700 | TOLL FREE (within Aust): 1800 771 522 | E: enquiries@improve.org.au

The Improvement Foundation acknowledges the Traditional Custodians past and present on whose land we walk and we live.

TQCSI Quality Certified