About MedicineInsight

The Australian Government Department of Health funded NPS MedicineWise in 2011 to establish and manage a longitudinal general practice data platform to improve the post-marketing surveillance of medicine use in Australia and support quality improvement activities in general practices. 

MedicineInsight is the first large-scale, national primary care data program in Australia that extracts longitudinal patient information from the clinical software used in general practice. 

MedicineInsight achieves better healthcare for all Australians by:

  • supporting quality improvement in participating general practices
  • supporting the safe use of new medicines
  • informing future policy and primary care research
  • supporting a sustainable Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS).

MedicineInsight data

De-identified data is extracted from the clinical information systems that participating general practices use to manage patient records and write prescriptions. Data include information entered directly by GPs and practice staff as well as system-generated data such as the time and date that records are accessed.

A whole-of-practice retrospective data collection is conducted when a practice joins MedicineInsight. Subsequent extractions take incremental data, enabling the development of a longitudinal database in which de-identified patients within practices can be tracked over time. 

Can I use MedicineInsight data?

Third parties may express an interest in the information collected through MedicineInsight. The provision of information in these instances undergoes a rigorous and formal approval process, and is guided by the MedicineInsight independent external Data Governance Committee. This Committee includes GPs, consumer advocates, privacy experts and researchers.

Third-party use of MedicineInsight information must be aligned with our overall mission and be for public good. Information shared with third parties is done in a secure manner and will never identify an individual practice, GP, practice staff member or patient.

See Privacy, security and governance.

The MedicineInsight Databook

Use the MedicineInsight Databook to help determine if the data available in MedicineInsight are suitable for your research project.

Date published:04 Dec 2018

How do I apply to use MedicineInsight data?

For information about applying for access to MedicineInsight data:

Example uses of MedicineInsight data

MedicineInsight data is being used for a range of activities, some of which include:

  • post-marketing surveillance of drugs prescribed for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes and asthma, as well as antidepressants, anticoagulants, testosterone and antibiotics.
  • informing medicines policy, including a review of biological medicines used in general practice, monitoring the impact of changes to PBS restrictions for testosterone, and reviewing the use of antibiotics commonly used for respiratory tract infections.
  • supporting quality improvement in general practice by comparing practice activity with best practice guidelines, in clinical areas such as diabetes, stroke, COPD, depression and antibiotic use. This allows practice staff to reflect on current practice, identify areas for improvement and see where changes can be implemented.
  • primary care research, including evaluation of vaccination coverage, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, pain, obesity and lung cancer.
See a list of approved projects using MedicineInsight data