Quality Improvement in Primary Care

Digital information can transform the quality and sustainability of health and care. Used effectively, it can help save lives, improve health and wellbeing and support a sustainable health system that delivers safe, high quality and effective health services for all Australians.

Improvement in general practice data can involve examining practice structures, systems and clinical care. This data can be gathered from patient or staff feedback, an audit of clinical databases, or the analysis of near misses and mistakes.

SWSPHN plays a role in supporting QI in general practice with strategies to embed QI systems, improve data quality, analyse the practice's data and identify areas for improvement, assist with goal setting and improvement activities, provide progress reports and feedback. Ultimately, quality improvement activities will lead to improved clinical care and patient outcomes in general practice.

What is the QIPC program?

The QI model

PHN’s ‘Quality Improvement in Primary Care’ (QIPC) program is built on years of SWSPHN collaborating with general practices to improve and maintain practice processes to meet regulated standards.

The QIPC program aims to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care through practice based data extraction and decision support tools that SWSPHN provides free to practices with compatible clinical software.

The model is made of three tiers that indicate the level of engagement in quality improvement that practices are involved. The bottom-up model represents increased engagement and resources available to practices as they move into higher tiers.

What are the benefits of participation?

Many benefits are attributed to a practice's participation. These include:

  • 40 Category 1 RACGP and ACRRM points and for General Practitioners participating in Tier 3
  • Enhance data management to meet accreditation standards
  • Improve patient care while identifying potential business revenue
  • Establishing sustainable systems and processes for the practice
  • Links to referral pathways

Who is eligible?

All practices in South Western Sydney are eligible to participate if they meet the following requirements:

  • Clinical software system in use:
    • Medical Director
    • Best Practice
    • Zedmed
    • Genie
    • Mmex
    • Medtech
    • Communicare

SWSPHN subsidises two unique clinical audit tools (POLAR GP and CAT4) for participating practices. They analyse and report on clinical information from your practice's software system. These tools translate data into real statistical and graphical information that is easy to understand and action. This allows practitioners to assess and improve both quality and completeness of patient information. This benefits the practice by assisting with accreditation, supporting high-quality patient care and identifying business potential.

POLAR GP and CAT 4 allow your practice to contribute de-identified practice data that will inform population health analysis to develop an understanding of the health needs of South Western Sydney. Your practice data is then used to aggregate automatic reports for your practice to compare with RACGP standards and other practices within the South Western Sydney region.

This process is governed by SWSPHN policies which can be found here: 

For more information about the software we provide please visit: POLAR GP or PENCS

Contact your SWSPHN Practice Support Officer on (02) 4632 3000 for installation. 



The QI team



Grace Tam  

Grace 1 final


Position: Health Systems Improvement Coordinator
Education: B. Nursing from University of Western Sydney


Janet Liang



Position: Health Systems Improvement Officer

Education: B. Nursing from University of Western Sydney

Role: Overlook QIPC Tier 3 Practices


Hulya Sinmaz


Position: Health Systems Improvement Officer

Education:B. Applied Science (Exercise and Sport Science), M. Exercise Physiology from the University of Sydney 

Role: Overlook QIPC Tier 3 Practices


Success stories

Dr Pallewatta, Liverpool

“The QI program from PHN has immensely helped me to improve my data quality and patient management especially in regard to diabetes. I myself have learned a lot and greatly advise other practices to join this program”.  

Dr Indran Rajendra, Bundanoon

“The focus of the QIPC program is data cleansing, which I am a big advocate for. I believe once in the right frame of mind, improving database quality and completeness easily integrates into the daily use of your medical software. Once improved, the database becomes a jewel in your crown resulting in better health and financial outcomes for the practice. As this program has strong focus towards attaining clean data I can only highly recommend all practices, if eligible, to also participate”


Australian Digital Health Agency - Australia's National Digital Health strategy

For more information please contact SWSPHN’s Health Systems Improvement Team

e. HSIsupport@swsphn.com.au