Linda Hein, NPCC
The NPCC (National Primary Care Collaboratives) will continue the Collaboratives Program until 31 December 2007 after an extension to the current contract was granted by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.
The extension of funding provides more than 500 participating practices with the opportunity to continue collecting, submitting and analysing data, with ongoing support and feedback from the NPCC and Collaborative Program Managers (CPMs), until the end of the year.
Practices will now be able to maintain the momentum of change and build on the skills they have learned through the Program to continue making improvements in their systems of care.
Among the further extension activities, the NPCC will assist participating Divisions to engage more practices in the Collaborative methodology with advice on cleaning their data, establishing valid registers and benchmarking their Diabetes and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) data. NPCC will also provide support to Divisions in training program and practice support staff in quality improvement principles and techniques.
The extension allows for another Wave of the Virtual Collaboratives Program, which commenced with eight practices on 2 May. The Virtual Program, which was initially run as a pilot for alternative delivery of the Program, has been particularly valuable for those unable to leave their practices to attend the national Learning Workshops, such as rural, remote or solo practices.
Data from the first Virtual Wave (with six practices) showed considerable improvements in both Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) and Diabetes measures. The percentage of patients with CHD whose last recorded blood pressure was below 140/90mmHg jumped from 31% at baseline to 62% after eight months, while the percentage of patients with diabetes whose HbA1c was below or equal to 7% also rose, from 16% at baseline to 43% at Month 8.
Results for practices participating in the national delivery of the Program also show continued improvement. Aggregate results for all three Waves show an 85% improvement in the percentage of patients with Diabetes Hba1c measure, relative to baseline, and a 49% improvement in the CHD blood pressure measure.
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