HSRAANZ Webinar Recording Now Available – Evaluation of the appropriateness and quality use of pathology in Australian general practice

Professor Andrew Georgiou, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University.

Held on Thursday 18 June at 11.30am AEST

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ABSTRACT

General practitioners (GPs) are crucial in screening for chronic diseases, predisposition to disease development, and ongoing patient management. Appropriate and efficient utilisation of pathology testing by GPs forms a key part of clinical decision-making, including diagnosing, screening, treating, and monitoring diseases. Despite the significant implications of pathology testing on patient diagnosis and outcomes in general practice, the limited availability of high quality and reliable data has made it difficult to assess the quality of pathology test practices. General practice activity data has previously only been reported as aggregated data in self-reported cross-sectional surveys. More recently, the now-widespread digitisation and use of health information technologies (HIT) by Australian GPs has prompted interest in the use of electronic health record (EHR) data as a research source for identifying variation in general practice activities. The study described in this presentation was undertaken by the Diagnostic Informatics team at the Australian Institution of Health Innovation in collaboration with Outcome Health’s POLAR Aurora Research Consortia including Gippsland, Eastern Melbourne and South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Networks (PHNs). The study was funded by the Australian Department of Health Quality Use of Pathology Program with the aim of providing benchmark data on how specific pathology tests are used in general practice and to investigate how test management practices align with evidence-based guidelines. The study provided findings about the use of key laboratory tests including glycated haemoglobin A1c, kidney function tests, ferritin tests for iron deficiency, vitamin D tests and prostate-specific antigen tests.

BIOGRAPHY

Professor Andrew Georgiou leads the Diagnostic Informatics research team at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University (2014). He has worked in a number of senior research and executive positions including as the UK NHS Assistant Director of Classifications (1995-1997), Coordinator for the Coronary Heart Disease Programme for the Royal College of Physicians in London (1999 – 2002) and as a research leader on the CARDIAB general practice register/recall system at the Centre for General Practice Integration Studies at the University of New South Wales (2002 - 2004). He is an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Pathology Informatics and the International Journal of Medical Informatics and the co-Chair of the International Medical Informatics Association Working Group on Technology Assessment and Quality Development. Professor Georgiou is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Informatics (2005), the Australasian College of Health Service Managers (2009), the Faculty of Science (Research) Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (2015), the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics (IAHSI) (2019) and a Foundation Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Digital Health (2020). His key research interests are in the areas of diagnostic informatics, evaluation, health information technologies, outcome measurement, quality and safety, aged care and organisational communications research.