Quality improvement

Quality improvement

Quality improvement is an ongoing activity that is undertaken in general practice to monitor, evaluate and improve the quality of healthcare that is delivered to patients. It can help practices to refine systems and workflows that result in sustainable improvements.

How your Quality Improvement Consultant can help you

Quality improvement programs ensure practices are moving towards high performing primary care and meet the requirements of the PIP QI Incentive. Murray PHN's Quality Improvement Consultants can help to guide practices in the design and implementation of meaningful activities, specifically the:

  • adoption of best practice methods to improve quality of care
  • meaningful use of digital systems to maximise the flow of patient information across the health provider community
  • use, collection and reporting of clinical data via a clinical audit tool
  • requirements of the PIP QI Incentive and RACGP Standards for general practices (5th edition)
  • education and professional development for all practice staff.

Why undertake quality improvement?

Benefits of engaging in quality improvement activities include:

  • a strong practice team that welcomes contribution from all staff
  • a culture of collaboration and continuous quality improvement
  • a safe and comprehensive healthcare experience for patients
  • improved health outcomes for patients
  • improved workflows, systems and business performance
  • support to meet the requirements for PIP QI and accreditation
  • a practice that is prepared for future models of care.

Model for improvement


Practice Incentives Program (PIP) – Quality Improvement (QI) Incentive

The PIP QI Incentive is designed for general practices to encourage changes that are relevant to patient populations. It focuses on improving patient outcomes and access to care while also developing a more effective business.

General practices seeking to qualify for the incentive need to work with Murray PHN to undertake the collection, submission and review of a de-identified set of data.

As with all other PIP incentives, registration and payment for the PIP QI Incentive is through Services Australia which administers the PIP on behalf of the Australian Department of Health.

Participation in the incentive is voluntary, and practices may withdraw at any time by completing the following form: servicesaustralia.gov.au/ip007

Eligibility criteria and how to apply

To be eligible to receive a PIP QI Incentive payment, general practices must:

  • be eligible for the PIP and hold a PIP identifier
  • register for the PIP QI Incentive payment
  • electronically submit the PIP Eligible Data Set (comprising of 10 improvement measures) to Murray PHN quarterly
  • undertake quality improvement activities in partnership with Murray PHN.

Qualifying for the PIP QI payment

To qualify for the PIP QI payment, general practices must:

  • participate in continuous quality improvement activities
  • submit the PIP Eligible Data Set to Murray PHN.

For answers to frequently asked questions, click here.

PIP QI improvement measures

To meet the PIP QI Incentive eligibility requirements, general practices must submit the below PIP Eligible Data Set (MDS). The MDS is comprised of 10 improvement measures that represent key health priority areas. The areas of chronic disease are those that are largely responsible for the burden of disease in Australia, and their associated risk factors.

Data-informed quality improvement in these areas may help to delay progression of chronic conditions, improve quality of life, increase life expectancy and decrease the need for high-cost interventions. The de-identified data will also aid public health policy, planning, service delivery and trend analysis.









Practices can focus quality improvement activities on these 10 improvement measures, noting there are no prescribed targets associated with any of the measures. Practices will also be required to show evidence of quality improvement activities in other areas that meet the needs of their practice population.

Quality improvement focus areas

There are 10 priority areas that frame the work of Murray PHN, which is also guided by community and clinical input:








Resources and tools

Improving data quality

Data cleansing is generally the first step in any Quality Improvement (QI) activity, however data cleansing can be a stand-alone QI activity, provided it is planned and documented accordingly.

Respiratory health

Chronic respiratory conditions affect the airways, including the lungs and the passages that transfer air from the mouth and nose into the lungs.

Chronic respiratory disease rates in the Murray PHN region are not very different to the Victorian or Australian rates, but avoidable deaths from respiratory disease are concerning with 15 of 22 local government areas (LGAs) having rates at least 25 per cent higher, and in Buloke LGA, almost three times the state average of 8.5 people per 100,000.

Men's health

The primary male-specific chronic disease is prostate cancer and while the Murray PHN region has low rates compared with the rest of the state, this may be due to fewer men seeking help for their symptoms. Mental health issues are often a concern for older men.

Immunisation and winter wellness

Immunisation is a safe and effective way to protect against harmful diseases and prevent the spread of these among community.

Eye health

General practice plays a crucial role in reducing avoidable blindness and vision loss and its associated burden of disease.

To assist and support general practices in our region, Murray PHN and Vision Initiative co-designed and developed an eye health quality improvement toolkit that focuses on improving identification and screening of those at risk of eye-related health conditions and illness, through implementation of eReferral systems from general practices to optometrists and ophthalmologists.

Click here to download the toolkit or watch the introductory video below:


Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the Murray PHN region and is often associated with other chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease.

Healthy lifestyle

There are many health determinants that can protect your good health or pose a risk to it. Protective behaviours include physical activity, vaccination and good nutrition, while risks include the use of tobacco or illicit drugs, excessive alcohol intake or being a victim of violence.

Population health: Cancer

Through the Community-led Cancer Screening Program, funded by the Victorian Department of Health, the development of a Cancer Screening Quality Improvement Tool Kit was commissioned by a consortium of three PHNs (Murray PHN, Western Victoria PHN, and North Western Melbourne PHN) to support ongoing quality improvement activities within general practice. Click the links below to download the toolkit:

Heart health

Congestive heart failure is higher than average in Shepparton, Bendigo and Towong, and combined with circulatory diseases, causes more premature death than average in Buloke, Mildura, Moira and Campaspe local government areas.

Aged care

A health assessment of an older person is an in-depth assessment of a patient aged 75 years and older. It provides a structured way of identifying health issues and conditions that are potentially preventable or amenable to interventions to improve health or quality of life.

Mental health

We have created a suite of quality improvement activities that focus on different aspects of mental health in general practice. The aim of these activities is to enhance the general practice response to patients experiencing mental illness or poor mental health through building knowledge, skills, confidence and response at a local level. Practices can use the resources and work with their Murray PHN Quality Improvement Consultant to explore key areas of improvement and opportunity specific to their practice and staff.

This area of quality improvement acknowledges that mental illness and poor mental health can impact many areas of an individual’s life including health outcomes, and has been designed to align with the National Health Plan.

Please watch the following two videos that provide an introduction to the activities and an overview of what's included in each one. You can download the activities by scrolling down to the document links.

To download each PDSA, click the link and a Word file will automatically save:

Alcohol and other drugs

To assist and support general practice in our region, Murray PHN has developed a suite of quality improvement activities that focus on different aspects of AOD-related topics in general practice. AOD is a major cause of preventable disease and illness in our region, and commonly, patients presenting with AOD concerns and issues often have an overlap with related and broader health issues, especially mental health.

Please watch the following two videos that provide an introduction to the activities and an overview of what's included in each one. You can download the activities by scrolling down to the document links.

To download each PDSA, click the link and a Word file will automatically save:

Quality improvement resources

For more information

Contact our Quality Improvement Consultants e: gpsupport@murrayphn.org.au or p: 03 4408 5600 (Central Victoria head office).


Page last updated 25 July 2023