general practice quality improvement support

We committed to partnering with general practice, including Aboriginal Medical Services, to provide support in quality improvement activities and the adoption of best practice methodologies.

Quality improvement involves reviewing all aspects of general practice with the goal to provide optimal patient and clinical care. Ongoing review of all aspects of patient care, clinical operations and general service delivery are the hallmark of quality improvement.

This process involves all members of the general practice team and is usually lead by the practice manager, the managing principle owner and/ or the quality officer.

Practice Support Program

North Coast Primary Health Network provides each general practice and Aboriginal Medical Service with a designated Quality Improvement Support Officer. They can provide support and resources to assist with improving patient outcomes and business processes.

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Quality Improvement (QI) Program

The Quality Improvement (QI) Program assists general practices to undertake continuous quality improvement through activities informed by the meaningful use of data, to improve the health of their practice population.

Dedicated Practice Support Officers support general practices to implement the Program which involves applying a consistent approach to each quality improvement topic.

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Introduction of the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) Quality Improvement (QI) Incentive August 2019

The PIP QI is a new Federal Government incentive payment starting on 1 August 2019. It is available to general practices that participate in quality improvement to improve patient outcomes and deliver best practice care.

NCPHN will communicate information to practices about the PIP QI incentive through regular publications. If you have further questions, please contact your local GP QI Support Officer.

General Practices are Eligible for PIP QI if they:
  1. Participate in continuous quality improvement activities in partnership with their local PHN (NCPHN). (Practices can focus quality improvement activities on the QI PIP Improvement Measures OR any other area of continuous improvement informed by their clinical information system data).
  2. Submit the PIP Eligible Data Set to their local PHN (NCPHN) on a quarterly basis. PHNs will use the de-identified data to provide feedback to general practices.
Preparation for PIP QI?

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The Department of Health has developed the following documents to assist practices understand the PIP QI requirements and PIP data governance arrangements:

  • To register, practices (including Aboriginal Medical Services) need a PRODA account. Read more at humanservices.gov.au/hpos
  • Ensure your RA number and PRODA account login details are up to date.
  • For assistance with the HPOS and/or PRODA registration process, please contact the Department of Human Services Incentives enquiry line on 1800 222 032

This is a 6 digit number assigned to practices by the Department of Human Services. NCPHN will require this number to report to the Department on practice data submission for PIP QI. Your local NCPHN QI Support Officer will be in touch with you about this.

Many practices already share de-identified data with NCPHN on a monthly basis using the PEN CS suite of tools. These tools are free of charge to practices participating in the QI program.

  • If the practice shares data with NCPHN, we will soon ask you to sign a revised data sharing agreement.
  • If the practice does not share data with NCPHN and would like to start, please contact your local NCPHN QI Support Officer to discuss installation and training in the use of the PEN CS suite of tools.

If your practice has a particular QI project or idea that you would like to work on that isn’t covered by existing QI resources, please contact your QI Support Officer.

If your practice is accredited and you believe that you are entitled to register for the new Quality Incentive Practice Incentive but haven’t worked with us on Quality Improvement before, please register your interest via this form.

Qualification for PIP QI:

  1. Participation in continuous quality improvement activities in partnership with their local PHN (NCPHN). Practices may focus their quality improvement activities on the specified Improvement Measures that form the PIP Eligible Data Set. Alternatively, practices can choose to focus their activities on any other area informed by their clinical information system data that meet the needs of their practice population.

  2. Submission of the PIP Eligible Data Set to their local PHN (NCPHN) on a quarterly basis. PHNs will use the de-identified data to provide feedback to general practices. NCPHN will continue to communicate information to practices about the PIP QI incentive through regular publications. If you have further questions, please contact your local GP QI Support Officer.

PIP QI - Data Exemption

In order to qualify for the first quarter PIP QI payment, general practices need to submit a PIP Eligible Data Set to NCPHN at least once during the period 1 August and 15 October 2019.

If your clinical information system does not have the capability to provide data directly to NCPHN, or you prefer not to use the PenCS data extraction tools, we recommend that you apply for a one-off time limited exemption from the Department of Health. This will allow you time to develop a solution to share the PIP Eligible Data set with us. This may involve working with your clinical information system provider, NCPHN, or other software providers to develop a submission process.

Practices that are granted an exemption will still be eligible for the PIP QI Incentive payment in November as long as you meet all other eligibility requirements, including undertaking continuous quality improvement activities in partnership with NCPHN.

How to Apply

Please apply direct to the Department of Health using the exemption application form that is available here.

There is also a fact sheet on the same site which provides more information about the exemption.

Step 1: Download the exemption application form.

Step 2: Complete and sign the form, and then email it to NCPHN at sodonnell@ncphn.org.au and we will then sign it and return it to you via email.

Step 3: Email the completed form to the practicesupport@health.gov.au inbox by 15 October 2019 (the relevant date for the first quarter).

Step 4: Wait to receive email confirmation from the Department of Health as to whether the exemption has been granted.

*If you are granted an exemption you will still need to comply with all the other eligibility requirements of the PIP QI Incentive, such as undertaking continuous quality improvement activities in partnership with NCPHN.

If you have any questions, please contact your NCPHN Quality Improvement Support Officer.

Do You Use Best Practice?

This useful webinar has been provided by Best Practice and gives some great tips on improving the quality of your data.

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