PHN Innovation Collaborative


The Federal Government’s announcement to establish 30 Primary Health Network (PHN) organisations is a significant opportunity to shape primary health care in Australia.

Newly formed PHN organisations will need to be appropriately supported to meet Government requirements. The Improvement Foundation (IF) can provide prospective PHNs with selected key resources and support to meet their practice, patient, fiscal and other Government benchmarks.

Join IF’s PHN Innovation Collaborative

If your organisation is submitting an application to become a PHN, you are invited to join the PHN Innovation Collaborative.

IF will offer participating PHN applicants the following key services. (Click on each link for more detail):

  1. PHN National Collaborative Learning Workshops
    1. An annual two day workshop
    2. Quarterly webinar workshops
  2. Assistance with General Practice and ACCHO engagement
  3. A system to provide nationally consistent and robust primary health care data sets, data collection, feedback to GPs and Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) web portal functions
  4. Measurement of primary health care quality and safety
  5. A structured approach to improving and expanding the national measurement data set.

The above services form a strategy that will:

  • Showcase examples of good practice, share learnings with other PHNs and innovate using proven Collaborative methodology
  • Enhance engagement with General Practices and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services
  • Improve the quality and safety of primary health care by providing a data collection and feedback system for General Practices and ACCHOs using existing national infrastructure. The infrastructure will also provide PHNs with the capacity to benchmark with other PHNs to help identify opportunities for improvement and innovation
  • Increase the range of primary health care and other measurement over time

Bid Materials to address PHN selection criteria

Subject to entering into a pre-bid agreement with IF, IF will provide draft content for the application summarising PHN Innovation Collaborative and how it will address the selection criteria.

An appendix will be provided that contains detail of the PHN Innovation Collaborative, including detailed information about existing data sets (quality improvement indicators), the infrastructure, operations, implementation milestones and roles and responsibilities.

IF will provide a letter supporting the application and stating that IF will assist the applicant to implement as agreed. IF believes that this approach will demonstrate a clear capacity to transition quickly.

The PHN Innovation Collaborative proposal is a comprehensive document detailing:

  • Services provided
  • IF expertise
  • Benefits of working with IF
  • Complementary products and services

Supporting Documents

To find out more, view or download the following documents

Fees and Charges
IF is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. Therefore, IF uses a fee recovery approach that is not generally adopted by commercial companies, and which provides excellent value for money.

Please contact Amy Markey at the Improvement Foundation on 08 8422 7408 or email

The PHN Innovation Collaborative includes the following services as outlined below.

IF also has optional additional services subject to the PHN applicant’s needs:

PHN Collaborative Workshops

Collecting data is only one element of quality improvement. Therefore IF is including a structured and ongoing Collaborative focussed on achieving outcomes for PHNs. The approach will follow the Collaborative methodology and leverage nearly a decade of lessons from the APCC Program implementation.

This will include:

An annual two day learning workshop specifically for PHN participants aligned with IF’s International Health Care Improvement Convention. The first of which will be held in November 2015

Quarterly learning workshops (3) held via video conference or webinar. These learning workshops will be 3 hours in duration and act as key learning and sharing sessions between the annual Convention

Learning workshops will be designed and implemented based on the Collaborative methodology and are not conference or seminar in style. Learning workshops will provide opportunities for PHNs to share ideas relating to improving our health care system at a macro level. Opportunities to share and innovate PHN improvement programs will also form a key part of the learning workshop agenda.

Engagement of General Practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) in the collection and use of data

IF will work with individual PHNs to plan the most appropriate engagement strategy to maximise GP and ACCHO engagement in data submission, receiving feedback on agreed quality indicators and for other PHN purposes. IF will invite NACCHO and the relevant state based Affiliate to join this planning process to ensure that engagement of ACCHOs is undertaken appropriately and consistent with any NACCHO and Affiliate program(s).

Through the planning phase, the PHN will be able to identify how to best engage General Practices and ACCHOs in the collection and use of data that maximises access to primary health care data for the PHN. IF understands that GP engagement is broader than what is proposed here and believes that this approach will form part of a broader PHN engagement strategy.

Various engagement models are possible, ranging from direct PHN approach and engagement to more IF supported approaches.

IF can also work with the PHN to offer General Practices and ACCHOs the opportunity to access benefits from using IF’s data system; qiConnect. For example, where agreed, IF can provide the PHN with data that does not identify the General Practice or ACCHO. Using this approach PHNs can achieve access to data for analysis, needs assessment and accountability, while the General Practice or ACCHO can remain confidential.

CQI web portal functions for PHNs

IF’s CQI web portal, qiConnect, provides access to nationally consistent and robust primary health care measurement sets.

qiConnect provides a range of ways to access and visualise data in a secure way and provide feedback to General Practices and ACCHOs using suitable comparisons (where appropriate).

Using these quality indicators, many of which are focussed on chronic diseases, PHNs can better understand their population, improve their service planning capabilities, and provide well planned improvement initiatives for General Practices to improve their health care delivery.

IF can support PHNs to recruit, register and engage General Practice teams to submit and share aggregated data for the purposes of CQI through broader collaboration and enhanced learning opportunities. The PHN Innovation Collaborative includes licensing of software specifically for the secure submission of data from General Practices and ACCHOs to the IF web portal.

Measurement of Primary Health Care Quality and Safety

Through the APCC Program measurement set, the national key performance indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health (nKPIs), eHealth quality indicators and CAT, IF offers access to a system that can reliably measure quality and safety in health care and the adoption and use of eHealth. These existing data sets provide access to a large suite of existing quality indicators for chronic disease management and prevention and the adoption and use of eHealth.

Through early 2015 IF will align the APCC Program quality indicators with the nKPIs bringing about a nationally consistent measurement set and removing duplication.

Improving and Expanding the National Data Set

There are opportunities to expand the current collection of data from primary health care services beyond General Practices and ACCHOs. IF will manage a process to collaborate with PHNs and other parties (including guideline developers, content experts) to identify measurement gaps, quality indicators, and collection methodologies to share data in a nationally consistent manner. IF will also invite NACCHO and Affiliates to participate in this process.

The Expert Reference Panel approach used by the APCC Program and fundamental to the Collaborative methodology will be used for the PHN Collaborative to identify new quality indicators and measurements.

Furthermore, IF’s system is responsive to local needs and can accommodate locally identified indicators. Collaborating on the development of quality indicators and other measurement is important, particularly as local indicators often evolve into nationally significant indicators over time.

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