Data sharing agreements#
Primary Health Networks (PHNs) work directly with general practices to develop and implement quality improvement initiatives, which is key in improving patient health outcomes. Data sharing agreements detail how data received by a PHN is governed by the PHN. That is , how the PHN stores, retrieves, uses the data and under which conditions will share data.
PHNs as regional data custodians#
PHNs are required to aggregate and control collection, use, access, privacy and security of data at the regional (PHN) level. This term applies to the PIP QI data set and all other data that general practices have approved to be collected. PHNs should review the relevant data governance frameworks published by the Department
The relationship between PHNs and general practice#
It is recommended that PHNs Ensure Practices.
- Clearly understand the scope of the data shared with the PHN
- Practices clearly understand their obligations to ensure the information contained in their practice data is current and accurate
PHN use of the data#
Subject to your PHNs legal advice, the following clauses should be considered for inclusion in your data sharing agreement and internal documentation.
- PHN may access de-identified data for research to help deliver insights on health trends and improvements in population health;
- Data sets will not be linked to other data sets if such linkage could reasonably result in the re-identification of data.
- No data will be shared if the data is able to be made identifiable and/or if there are less than 5 individual data sets for an area equivalent to an SA2 (ABS definition)
- Sharing any data under the custodianship of the PHN must be undertaken with due diligence and in accordance with PHN Policy, Privacy Legislation, and the PIP QI Governance Framework.
- We take all reasonable steps to protect the privacy of Your Personal Information in accordance with Our statutory obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and other applicable Laws dealing with the protection of Personal Information.
- We will store all Data extracted from Your practice management system in a secure data warehouse located in Australia.
- All Data collected will be de-identified and aggregated and We will take all reasonable and necessary steps to ensure that individual patients and general practitioners will not be identifiable to any external party (including to Your PHN). We will never share the names of practices, providers or individuals with any third party without consent from Your practice
PHN data sharing#
PHNs often receive external requests from third parties to access data under its governance. Subject to your PHNs legal advice, the following check list may be considered for inclusion in your internal documentation
Information required from the external requestor to access data under the PHNs governance to make an appropriate assessment of the request will include;
- Project title and objectives
- Data elements
- How the data will support the project objectives
- How the project will support population health improvement
- The project group membership
- How the data will be distributed within the project group membership
- How the data will be published at the end of the project
- If formal ethical approval has been granted by a formal body aligned with the NHMRC – a copy of the ethics approval to be obtained prior to the decision being made
- Signature of the requesting person is to include an agreement not to use any data provided to denigrate a general practice
Using the PHN Exchange for practice engagement#
PHN staff who manage, engage or oversee the GP–PHN relationships are referred to as 'practice engagement staff' This section should be used by practice engagement staff to prepare for engagement with General Practices
There are four sections:
- General practice details
- Pre-engagement planning – Key characteristics
- Validating and analysing the GP data report
- Engaging with the practice
General Practice details#
Write your name and date, the practice name, address and local government area in which the practice is located.
- Local Government Area (LGA)
- Key Contacts and their position
Pre engagement planning – Key characteristics#
It is important for you to know about population health characteristics for the LGA. This will enable you to engage in discussion with the Practice Manager and show them the Exchange resource. For example; what is the SEIFA (Socio-Economic Index for Areas) for the LGA; what is housing and employment like in the LGA; what are the main BETTER and WORSE disease rates and service use (e.g. hospitalisations).
Make notes for each of the following priority areas, including hotspots and indicators that are better or worse than the PHN catchment average:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander
- Aged care
- Alcohol and other drugs
- Child Health / Early Years
- Chronic disease
- Digital health
- Health workforce
- Mental Health
- Population Health (Refer ABS Atlas for):
- Age breakdown
Validating and analysing the GP data report#
Prior to attending or contacting the practice you need to be confident in your ability to assist them to access their report. This means knowing how they log on and access their report.
What are the stages they need to have completed to do this? Who will you call if the report cannot be accessed at the practice location?
Pre-validation should also be completed prior to attendance at the practice. A comparison of data between the GP Data Report and the PATCAT web platform should be completed in order that you have confidence that the data is validated. Validation and analysis also supports your decision of which indicators within the report should be chosen to focus on with the practice. Know your MBS items and understand which of the report’s indicators can be worked on by the Practice Manager and / or Nurse.
Initial engagement should not place additional burdens on the General Practitioner. You can also calculate the business benefit of improving the data quality of certain reports.
- Check that the practice has access to the report The practice can access the report by registering with their Microsoft account details. The system will match the PenCS login with their credentials.
- Know your support Determine what you will do at the practice if there are technical difficulties.
- Access the GP data report for your practice at your office prior to attending at the practice Register and use login credentials to access the report via the PHN Exchange.
- Access the PATCAT web portal at your office prior to attending at the practice Register and use login credentials to access the PATCAT report via your administrator.
- Access the CAT4 demonstration software (some PHNs have this available) at your office prior to attending at the practice Know how to use the CAT4 software.
- Compare and validate GP Data report and the PATCAT report at your office prior to attending at the practice Compare the number of active patients shown in the GP Data Report to the PATCAT information. Compare the number of active patients categorised as having:
- Mental health conditions
- Access the GP data report for your practice Review the report for this practice at your office prior to attending at the practice. Know how to print the report using the browser functions.
- Access the GP data report for your practice. Review the report for this practice at your office prior to attending at the practice Identify parts of the report which can be addressed by the Practice Nurse / Manager.
- Review the report for this practice at your office prior to attending at the practice Identify parts of the report which can be addressed by the Practice Nurse / Manager which can be proposed as areas of improvement.
- Review the report for this practice at your office prior to attending at the practice Use the resources section to find the GP MBS funding (Doctor MBS quick guide). Calculate the revenue possible from the GP data report.
Engaging with the practice#
Practice engagement should be contextualised. The advice from senior staff outweighs any specific guidance from this document. Please use the points in this section as a guide. Engagement should result in the practice having confidence in your support, confidence in understanding the data and also an agreed path forward (including the way in which future communication will be undertaken).
- Making the appointment Use this telephone conversation to identify the correct person you should be engaged with at the practice.
- Use this telephone conversation to ask them to run a CAT4 report to tell you how many active patients they have.
- The meeting Introduce yourself, make sure the practice has your contact details.
- Demonstrate the PHN Exchange Show the publicly available data. Show the ABS mapping system. Show the Learning Management System – GP practices may want to use the LMS for their staff induction or some CPD.
- Demonstrating the GP Data Report Assist them to access their GP Data Report. Show them the features including the 1 minute videos for each section.
- Show the figures as they align with their CAT4 report. This will provide them with confidence in the report.
- Focus on the areas for data quality improvement Always state that data quality improvement will primarily lead to better outcomes for patients.
- With the examples you have developed, show them the additional revenue possible.
- Recording the report Print out for the practice so they can refer to it in three months’ time when the report is automatically updated.
- Arrange review visits By telephone, video conferencing or in person. Initial meeting should be held in person with follow up using video conferencing.
- Ongoing data quality improvement exercises Use the GP Data Report to track any changes due to actions decided.