New national health program kicks off in Shepparton

This month, NPS MedicineWise has launched a new and ambitious program called MedicineInsight to facilitate better medicines use and achieve better health outcomes across Australia.

The University of Melbourne Shepparton Medical Centre is the first general practice to participate in the program which collects anonymous patient data and uses this information to examine how medicines are used and prescribed in Australia.

NPS MedicineWise CEO, Dr Lynn Weekes, says insight gained from the program will improve the quality and safety of prescribing, and ultimately lead to better health outcomes across the country.

“Up to now, it has been very difficult to understand how and why medicines are used and prescribed in the community; our new MedicineInsight program is designed give us a much clearer picture.” says Dr Weekes.

“The launch in Shepparton is an exciting first step for the program and we’re thrilled to be working with doctors who are so engaged with our vision for MedicineInsight.”

“They understand the strong link between good medicine use and good health outcomes, and are eager to help us paint a comprehensive picture of how medicines are used in general practice.”

Medical Director of The University of Melbourne Shepparton Medical Centre, Dr Derek Wooff, says MedicineInsight is unique in Australia.

“The program collects data from the practice’s computers and it then links patient conditions, diagnoses and treatments over time,” Dr Wooff said.

“This information will be incredibly useful for us to review our prescribing and compare with other practices around the country.”

MedicineInsight is designed so that no identifying patient information, such as names and addresses, leaves the practice.

“Patients can feel confident that their privacy is being maintained and that no-one outside of the practice will be able to associate the data with any individual,” says Dr Weekes.

Over the next 12 months, NPS MedicineWise envisages that the MedicineInsight program will involve 500 practices around Australia and will gather the data of approximately two million patients.

ENDS

Independent, evidence-based and not-for-profit, NPS MedicineWise enables better decisions about medicines and medical tests. We are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

Media enquiries: Stephanie Childs on 02 8217 8667, 0419 618 365 or schilds@nps.org.au