Benefits of improving health record data
The primary purpose of improving the data in health records is to provide safe and high-quality healthcare for individuals and practice populations.
However, there are a range of other benefits for improving the quality of data within health records:
- It can improve communication between healthcare professionals
- It makes it easier for patients to understand their healthcare information
- It allows for efficient management of recalls and reminders
- It may be helpful for defending medico-legal claims
- It gives general practices a better understanding of their patient cohort.
Data quality is also linked to accreditation under the RACGP Standards for general practices, 5th edition.
High-quality patient health data is becoming more and more essential for quality improvement activities – whether this be carried out by a practice itself or in collaboration with an external agency (eg participation in NPS MedicineWise’s MedicineInsight program).
The Practice Incentives Program Quality Improvement incentive or PIP QI introduced in August 2019 is a payment to encourage general practices to participate in quality improvement activities. To be eligible, practices are required to submit data from their clinical information systems to their local PHN. For practices that choose to participate, this provides another reason to maintain good data in health records.