COVID-19 – utilising near real-time electronic General Practice data to establish effective care and best-practice policy

Flagship Program: Transparency of Data to Optimise Clinical Practice and Referral

Project Description

Identifying the impact of COVID-19 on the health care system in near real time is an urgent priority for critical decision-making about resource allocation, control measures, decision-making, policy development and community communication. Primary health care has moved into the frontline as SARS-COV2 testing transitions from hospitals to multiple general practice providers where tracking testing behaviours can be fragmented and delayed. Pooled GP data are a valuable resource which can be used to inform population and individual care decision-making.

This Project is based on a collaborative relationship involving, DHCRC, Macquarie University, Outcome Health, Gippsland, Eastern Melbourne, South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Networks and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Quality Assurance Programs. It will use an innovative secure and comprehensive digital health platform (POLAR) to deliver:

1) A near real-time geo-spatial reporting framework at community, state and nation-wide levels to identify emerging trends and monitor the impact of interventions/policy decisions.

2) Timely evidence about the impact of COVID-19 related to its diagnosis, treatment and medications prescribed and its impact on patients.

3) A predictive geo-spatial analytics dashboard for timely, evidence-based decision-making at community, state and nation-wide levels.

4) An evidence-based suite of general practice outcome measures to monitor the incidence, prevalence, recovery and mortality of responses to COVID-19.

Project Objectives

1) Build a meaningful near real-time COVID-19 geo-spatial reporting framework and dashboard for decision-makers at community, state and nation-wide levels, to identify and monitor emerging trends and the impact of interventions/policy decisions.

2) Generate timely and critical evidence about the impact of COVID-19 across different care level dimensions.

POPULATION:

  1. What populations are being impacted, not only from a direct COVID-19 perspective, but from a regular care perspective
  2. Chronic disease care impacts.
  3. Preventative care impacts.
  4. Mental health care impacts.

BUSINESS:

  1. What impact has COVID-19 had on general practice (e.g., number and types of services, tests, medications etc.) from a business and financial perspective?
  2. Types of interaction with patients, telehealth vs face-to-face, how has this worked, what are the immediate and future implications?
  3. How has this impacted patient care in relation to population and clinical care?

CLINICAL:

  1. Diagnostic level: most common COVID-19 symptoms? Alarm flags for COVID-19 (e.g., white blood cells, lymphocytes, platelet counts)? Risk factors (e.g., smoking, respiratory failure, body temperature)?
  2. Medication level: What are the dangers of prescribing antiviral drugs (e.g., drug-drug, drug-disease interactions)? Risks associated with chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine? ACE Inhibitors? Aggravation of symptoms?
  3. Treatment level: Special considerations for treatment in pregnancy? Care of infants? Use of nebulisers? Recommendations for paediatric patients?
  4. Patient level: How is clinical advice best communicated? What are the key health literacy considerations? Patient support measures that need to be put into place.

3) Develop a predictive geo-spatial analytics dashboard for timely, evidence-based decision-making (generated from aim 2) at community, state and nation-wide levels.

4) Establish an evidence-based suite of general practice outcome measures required to monitor the quality and effectiveness of care related to incidence and prevalence, recovery and mortality.

Industry Participant

Outcome Health (Melbourne East General Practice Network Limited)
Adam McLeod (CEO, Outcome Health)

Gippsland PHN
Amanda Proposch (CEO)

South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network Ltd
Elizabeth Deveny (CEO)

Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN)
Janine Wilson, (CEO)

Other Project Participants


Research Participant

Macquarie University
Professor Andrew Georgiou (Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences)

Project Value:

$1,951,923