‘A powerful tool’: Practices urged to take part in patient study

Press/Media: Expert Comment


The survey is designed to help practices understand and compare the management of patients with chronic conditions, both at home and abroad...

Professor Mark Morgan, Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee – Quality Care, also welcomes the prospect of data that allows greater understanding of general practice.
‘As a researcher, it is exciting to think we will have within country and international comparisons about patient perspectives of chronic disease management by GP clinics,’ he told newsGP.
‘These are important, but often unmeasured aspects of what we do as GPs. There has long been a focus on measuring what is easy to measure rather than what is important to measure.
‘Diabetes care, for example, often resolves down to HbA1c levels because these are easy numbers to collect and analyse.
‘This completely misses quality of life, levels of distress, levels of disability and burden of treatment.’
However, Professor Morgan warns of the likely challenges in putting the data to the best use.
‘My concern is that the collective effort and cost of data collection will not be backed by adequate infrastructure and supports to implement and measure meaningful change,’ he said.
‘GP clinics will need to decide whether to participate and the decision will be determined to some extent by how prepared they are to engage in all the steps required for the activity to improve patient experience and outcomes.’
He suggests that interested clinics can consider getting everyone on board, including GPs, students, nurses, allied health, receptionists, practice managers and patient representatives.
‘Ideally there will be a shared vision around using PaRIS for quality improvement,’ he said.
‘The clinic might identify champions who will lead this work.
‘They will need to make a plan about how the clinic will use the dashboard of graphs when they are finally available. How will capacity and time be made available to consider the results?
‘In addressing the findings from PaRIS surveys, clinics will need to make a plan for one or two priority improvements and decide how to evaluate the outcome of these improvements.’
Professor Morgan is also concerned data could be ‘misinterpreted and sensationalised’ by the media.
‘There is a risk that headlines will focus on a subset of negative findings and that the media will describe the “what” without exploring the “why”’, he said.
‘It is just as important to understand what is working well so we can hang onto it as it is to identify opportunities for improvement.’


PaRIS study



Primary care

Period25 Jul 2023

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