Report concludes that Primary Healthcare can be improved by Collaboratives


The Nation’s Primary Health Care System has shown significant improvements being involved in the Australian Primary Care Collaborative (APCC) Program* yet despite its demonstrable success, it has not been systematically embedded and sustained either nationally or in local health systems.

A recent report by the Grattan Institute showed the significant results that the Collaborative methodology has achieved through the APCC Program.  Traditionally, this Program has been delivered by the Improvement Foundation with rigour including face to face learning workshops but now the resources have been transformed into an online resource.

“By developing the APCC website and making hundreds of resources available, GPs, local health services and Primary Health Networks can now have free access to APCC materials.” said Improvement Foundation CEO, Colin Frick.

The report also highlights that where Collaborative programs have been applied, they have demonstrated significant improvements for a range of chronic conditions. For example, they have shown that a 50 per cent improvement in monitoring and outcomes of glucose blood sugar levels for people with diabetes can be achieved in general practice.
Training materials and resources covering a range of chronic diseases are now freely available for health professionals to access. “The challenge now is to ensure that Primary Health Networks (PHNs) are encouraged to use these proven materials and the Collaborative methodology and not re-create the wheel, wasting valuable public resources” says Mr Frick.

The new website is now available at

APCC Facts
*Over the past decade the Australian Primary Care Collaboratives (APCC) Program (funded by Department of Health) has implemented ten Nationally held quality improvement programs with more than 2,000 general practices. Collaboratives use learning workshops and ongoing support to apply improvement models and exchange ideas and experience to improve practice. Where they have been applied, Collaboratives have demonstrated significant improvements for a range of chronic conditions.  The Collaboratives model is a potentially important part of implementing integrated care, care pathways and chronic disease management within local networks of health providers. Chronic Failure in Primary Care – Grattan Institute Report 2016.

•    4,216 healthcare professionals have completed an APCC Program
•    400,000 improved health outcomes for patients
•    2,116 General Practices and Aboriginal Medical Services have participated
•    Improved health outcomes for more than 320,000 patients with diabetes and more than 210,000 patients with coronary heart disease.
•    55% improvement = 35,000 more people with diabetes have their blood sugar recorded within recommended limits.
•    85% improvement = 34,000 more people with diabetes now have their cholesterol recorded within recommended targets.
•    55% improvement = 34,000 more people with diabetes now have their blood pressure recorded within recommended limits.

For more results, visit the APCC website at

April 04, 2016

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