Managing those at risk of osteoporotic fractures: new NPS clinical audit

19 July 2011

GPs and GP registrars can now participate in the latest NPS clinical audit on reducing the risk of osteoporotic fractures and falls.

Building on the recent NPS therapeutic program, Reducing osteoporotic fracture risk and building healthy bones, this clinical audit provides information and guidance on how to manage those most at risk of osteoporotic fractures.

To take part in the audit, GPs are only required to review ten patients aged 50 years or over with associated risk factors.

“By participating in this clinical audit GPs will start thinking more broadly about osteoporotic fractures and falls, and consider whether aspects such as medicines, lifestyle factors or other medical conditions may be contributing to increased fracture risk,” said NPS clinical adviser, Dr Danielle Stowasser.

Studies show that in Australia, between 70% and 80% of people with osteoporotic fractures remain undiagnosed and untreated.

“This NPS audit provides a structure by which GPs can review management of their patients with, or at risk of, osteoporotic fractures and falls and monitor their progress as part of a continuous cycle of quality improvement,” said Dr Stowasser.

Participation in this clinical audit assists GPs to be confident in:

  • Assessing multiple risk factors to determine overall fracture and falls risk
  • Managing modifiable risk factors, including adequate physical activity, calcium, vitamin D and falls reduction strategies.
  • Treating those at high risk by considering primary and secondary prevention of osteoporotic fracture.
  • Assessing and promoting adherence to drug and non-drug interventions.

To assess overall fracture risk, GPs can take advantage of two freely available and validated internet-based fracture risk calculators: the WHO fracture risk assessment tool,FRAX®, and the Garvan Institute Fracture Risk Calculator

NPS clinical audits are free quality improvement activities that can be done independently using the evidence-based clinical guidance provided. Following submission, GPs receive individualised feedback and comparison with peers along with expert commentary.

“NPS clinical audits continue to positively influence GP prescribing habits to be more in line with best practice guidelines, ultimately providing better health outcomes for many Australians,” Dr Stowasser said.

This clinical audit has been approved by the RACGP Quality Improvement & Continuing Professional Development Program for 40 Category 1 points and by the ACRRM Professional Development Program for 30 PRPD Points. It is also a recognised activity for the Quality Prescribing Initiative of the Practice Incentives Program in the current year (May 2011 to April 2012).

Enrolments are open now until 12 August 2011. Completed audit forms must be submitted before 9 September 2011. To enrol visit

To view the range of new and existing clinical audits from NPS visit

or for more information contact Joanne Zeilinga on (02) 8217 8700 or email


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