Murrumba Downs practice shares data success

Brisbane North PHN recently caught up with the team at Medical Matters Murrumba Downs to congratulate them on achieving and maintaining 100 per cent of data recorded for a range of data quality measures.

Medical Matters is one of 170 general practices across the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region that receives quarterly reports from the PHN on their data quality benchmarked against previous performance and other participating practices.

The new practice opened in early 2018 and hit the ground running by establishing processes for collecting and maintaining their data from the outset. This proactive approach saw the practice achieve 100 per cent of data recorded across allergy status, smoking status, and alcohol status when they received their first report from the PHN in April 2018.

For Medical Matters Practice Manager Mark Struthers, the focus on quality health data goes hand-in-hand with high quality, personalised patient care.

“We acknowledge that we are fortunate to have been able to start from scratch with our data. Our processes for new patients have allowed us to talk to patients one-on-one – that personal interaction is important,” Mr Struthers said.

In speaking on the importance of data quality for patient care, GP Dr Caroline Struthers added, “You can get a better idea of their risks and co-morbidities just by looking at the data collected.”

Mr Struthers said one of the practice’s strengths was that everybody understands the value of having good data and that it’s for everyone’s benefit that it’s maintained and accurate.

While performing higher than the PHN average for the recording of waist management, the practice noted this was an area of focus for them, brainstorming the role each team member had in helping drive improvements.

Dr Caroline Struthers said one such strategy was to explain the relevance of collecting this data to patients.

“I explain to them that it’s not about being nosey, but that if you have a higher waist measurement you can be at increased risk of diabetes,” Dr Struthers said.

Acknowledging that for most practices starting from scratch isn’t an option, receptionist Kate Smith suggested that a progressive approach was key to making improvements in data quality.

“It’s not a race. Set aside time, even 10-15 minutes a day to start updating a portion of your records. Try to run the reports or use the Topbar tool. It only takes a few seconds to record missing fields and to get it done,” Ms Smith said.

In addition to receiving the quarterly reports from the PHN, the practice proactively runs reports twice weekly or weekly to identify any areas for improvement.

“Where we notice incomplete data, we will put notes into the patient’s chart so when they next come in the practice nurse will see them to collect any missing data,” Ms Smith said.

We congratulate the Medical Matters team on their hard work and wish them all the best for their next challenge as they prepare for accreditation.

For more information about participating in the Brisbane North PHN health data project, contact your Primary Care Liaison Officer or phone 07 3630 7300.

Banner Caption: Brisbane North PHN Primary Care Liaison Officer, Donna Hayward (third from left) with the Medical Matters team (L-R): Dr Ben McCullough, Receptionist Kate Smith, Practice Nurse Jane Ridge, Dr Caroline Struthers, and Practice Manager Mark Struthers.