Discussion paper

A potentially preventable hospitalisation indicator specific to general practice: consultation paper

General practice Medicine Hospitals Australia
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This paper aims to support consultation regarding the development of a general practice focused potentially preventable hospitalisations (PPH) indicator.

PPHs represent opportunities for improvement, both within health service delivery and within clinical practice. Early intervention, and long-term engagement with patients may not only reduce burden on tertiary services, but also improve health and wellbeing of individuals seeking these services.

While the current national PPH indicator provides a starting point for evaluating these opportunities, a general practice focused indicator would enable further assessment of mitigation opportunities within general practice activities.

A general practice focused PPH indicator would have a key role in performance evaluation, and on that basis could eventually be incorporated into the national PPH indicator. It would also be valuable for within-state comparisons over time, as some geographically variable determinants of disease may create unique areas of interest that cannot be captured under the national indicator. Similarly, a general practice focused PPH indicator may be useful for clinical education and evaluation, particularly for service planning monitoring within local areas.

This consultation paper was developed in consultation with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Department of Health. It outlines the process used by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) to develop a general practice-focused PPH indicator, including relevant definitions and principles, as well as the rationale behind key decisions.

The AIHW, in collaboration with the RACGP and the Department of Health, will be able to use feedback received from this consultation process to inform further refinement of the general practice focused PPH indicator.

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