The Gold Coast PHN developed and recently validated Primary SenseTM, a data extraction, analysis and management tool for general practice. Primary SenseTM generates simple reports from confidential data with only three clicks about individual patients at a practice level who may benefit from specific interventions. At a regional level, data from practices are aggregated and displayed in real-time as dashboards and maps. A specific report and dashboard were developed to identify those patients who may inappropriately be prescribed benzodiazepines. The reports are used as an essential component of the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) projects practices undertake. At the PHN level, the prevalence of potentially inappropriate benzodiazepine prescribing is addressed through educational activities, targeted practice support and commissioning of related services.
The challenges included: Adequate funding to further develop Primary SenseTM reports and dashboards; The capacity and capability of general practice teams to undertake CQI projects; Incorporating real-time data in commissioning local services.