General Practice - Research Publications

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    Evaluating the Implementation of a Pilot Quality Improvement Program to Support Appropriate Antimicrobial Prescribing in General Practice
    Biezen, R ; Buising, K ; Monaghan, T ; Ball, R ; Thursky, K ; Cheah, R ; Clark, M ; Manski-Nankervis, J-A (MDPI, 2021-07-01)
    Inappropriate antimicrobial prescribing contributes to increasing antimicrobial resistance. An antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) program in the form of quality improvement activities that included audit and feedback, clinical decision support and education was developed to help optimise prescribing in general practice. The aim of this study was to evaluate the implementation of this program (Guidance GP) in three general practices in Melbourne, Australia, between November 2019 and August 2020. Thirty-one general practitioners (GPs) participated in the program, with 11 GPs and three practice managers participating in follow-up focus groups and interviews to explore the acceptability and feasibility of the program. Our findings showed that the quality improvement activities were acceptable to GPs, if they accurately fit GPs' decision-making process and workflow. It was also important that they provided clinically meaningful information in the form of audit and feedback to GPs. The time needed to coordinate the program, and costs to implement the program were some of the potential barriers identified. Facilitators of success were a "whole of practice" approach with enthusiastic GPs and practice staff, and an identified practice champion. The findings of this research will inform implementation strategies for both the Guidance GP program and AMS programs more broadly in Australian general practice, which will be critical for general practice participation and engagement.
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    How do general practitioners access guidelines and utilise electronic medical records to make clinical decisions on antibiotic use? Results from an Australian qualitative study
    Biezen, R ; Roberts, C ; Buising, K ; Thursky, K ; Boyle, D ; Lau, P ; Clark, M ; Manski-Nankervis, J-A (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2019-08-01)
    OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to explore how general practitioners (GPs) access and use both guidelines and electronic medical records (EMRs) to assist in clinical decision-making when prescribing antibiotics in Australia. DESIGN: This is an exploratory qualitative study with thematic analysis interpreted using the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) framework. SETTING: This study was conducted in general practice in Victoria, Australia. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-six GPs from five general practices were recruited to participate in five focus groups between February and April 2018. RESULTS: GPs expressed that current EMR systems do not provide clinical decision support to assist with antibiotic prescribing. Access and use of guidelines were variable. GPs who had more clinical experience were less likely to access guidelines than younger and less experienced GPs. Guideline use and guideline-concordant prescribing was facilitated if there was a practice culture encouraging evidence-based practice. However, a lack of access to guidelines and perceived patients' expectation and demand for antibiotics were barriers to guideline-concordant prescribing. Furthermore, guidelines that were easy to access and navigate, free, embedded within EMRs and fit into the clinical workflow were seen as likely to enhance guideline use. CONCLUSIONS: Current barriers to the use of antibiotic guidelines include GPs' experience, patient factors, practice culture, and ease of access and cost of guidelines. To reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing and to promote more rational use of antibiotic in the community, guidelines should be made available, accessible and easy to use, with minimal cost to practicing GPs. Integration of evidence-based antibiotic guidelines within the EMR in the form of a clinical decision support tool could optimise guideline use and increase guideline-concordant prescribing.
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    Gathering data for decisions: best practice use of primary care electronic records for research
    Canaway, R ; Boyle, DIR ; Manski-Nankervis, J-AE ; Bell, J ; Hocking, JS ; Clarke, K ; Clark, M ; Gunn, JM ; Emery, JD (WILEY, 2019-03-31)
    In Australia, there is limited use of primary health care data for research and for data linkage between health care settings. This puts Australia behind many developed countries. In addition, without use of primary health care data for research, knowledge about patients' journeys through the health care system is limited. There is growing momentum to establish "big data" repositories of primary care clinical data to enable data linkage, primary care and population health research, and quality assurance activities. However, little research has been conducted on the general public's and practitioners' concerns about secondary use of electronic health records in Australia. International studies have identified barriers to use of general practice patient records for research. These include legal, technical, ethical, social and resource-related issues. Examples include concerns about privacy protection, data security, data custodians and the motives for collecting data, as well as a lack of incentives for general practitioners to share data. Addressing barriers may help define good practices for appropriate use of health data for research. Any model for general practice data sharing for research should be underpinned by transparency and a strong legal, ethical, governance and data security framework. Mechanisms to collect electronic medical records in ethical, secure and privacy-controlled ways are available. Before the potential benefits of health-related data research can be realised, Australians should be well informed of the risks and benefits so that the necessary social licence can be generated to support such endeavours.
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    The use of a risk assessment and decision support tool (CRISP) compared with usual care in general practice to increase risk-stratified colorectal cancer screening: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial
    Walker, JG ; Macrae, F ; Winship, I ; Oberoi, J ; Saya, S ; Milton, S ; Bickerstaffe, A ; Dowty, JG ; Lourenco, RDA ; Clark, M ; Galloway, L ; Fishman, G ; Walter, FM ; Flander, L ; Chondros, P ; Ouakrim, DA ; Pirotta, M ; Trevena, L ; Jenkins, MA ; Emery, JD (BMC, 2018-07-25)
    BACKGROUND: Australia and New Zealand have the highest incidence rates of colorectal cancer worldwide. In Australia there is significant unwarranted variation in colorectal cancer screening due to low uptake of the immunochemical faecal occult blood test, poor identification of individuals at increased risk of colorectal cancer, and over-referral of individuals at average risk for colonoscopy. Our pre-trial research has developed a novel Colorectal cancer RISk Prediction (CRISP) tool, which could be used to implement precision screening in primary care. This paper describes the protocol for a phase II multi-site individually randomised controlled trial of the CRISP tool in primary care. METHODS: This trial aims to test whether a standardised consultation using the CRISP tool in general practice (the CRISP intervention) increases risk-appropriate colorectal cancer screening compared to control participants who receive standardised information on cancer prevention. Patients between 50 and 74 years old, attending an appointment with their general practitioner for any reason, will be invited into the trial. A total of 732 participants will be randomised to intervention or control arms using a computer-generated allocation sequence stratified by general practice. The primary outcome (risk-appropriate screening at 12 months) will be measured using baseline data for colorectal cancer risk and objective health service data to measure screening behaviour. Secondary outcomes will include participant cancer risk perception, anxiety, cancer worry, screening intentions and health service utilisation measured at 1, 6 and 12 months post randomisation. DISCUSSION: This trial tests a systematic approach to implementing risk-stratified colorectal cancer screening in primary care, based on an individual's absolute risk, using a state-of-the-art risk assessment tool. Trial results will be reported in 2020. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry, ACTRN12616001573448p . Registered on 14 November 2016.
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    GP-OSMOTIC trial protocol: an individually randomised controlled trial to determine the effect of retrospective continuous glucose monitoring (r-CGM) on HbA1c in adults with type 2 diabetes in general practice
    Furler, J ; O'Neal, DN ; Speight, J ; Blackberry, I ; Manski-Nankervis, J-A ; Thuraisingam, S ; de La Rue, K ; Ginnivan, L ; Browne, JL ; Holmes-Truscott, E ; Khunti, K ; Dalziel, K ; Chiang, J ; Audehm, R ; Kennedy, M ; Clark, M ; Jenkins, AJ ; Liew, D ; Clarke, P ; Best, J (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2018-09-01)
    INTRODUCTION: Optimal glycaemia can reduce type 2 diabetes (T2D) complications. Observing retrospective continuous glucose monitoring (r-CGM) patterns may prompt therapeutic changes but evidence for r-CGM use in T2D is limited. We describe the protocol for a randomised controlled trial (RCT) examining intermittent r-CGM use (up to 14 days every three months) in T2D in general practice (GP). METHODS AND ANALYSIS: General Practice Optimising Structured MOnitoring To achieve Improved Clinical Outcomes is a two-arm RCT asking 'does intermittent r-CGM in adults with T2D in primary care improve HbA1c?' PRIMARY OUTCOME: Absolute difference in mean HbA1c at 12 months follow-up between intervention and control arms. SECONDARY OUTCOMES: (a) r-CGM per cent time in target (4-10 mmol/L) range, at baseline and 12 months; (b) diabetes-specific distress (Problem Areas in Diabetes). ELIGIBILITY: Aged 18-80 years, T2D for ≥1 year, a (past month) HbA1c>5.5 mmol/mol (0.5%) above their individualised target while prescribed at least two non-insulin hypoglycaemic therapies and/or insulin (therapy stable for the last four months). Our general glycaemic target is 53 mmol/mol (7%) (patients with a history of severe hypoglycaemia or a recorded diagnosis of hypoglycaemia unawareness will have a target of 64 mmol/mol (8%)).Our trial compares r-CGM use and usual care. The r-CGM report summarising daily glucose patterns will be reviewed by GP and patient and inform treatment decisions. Participants in both arms are provided with 1 hour education by a specialist diabetes nurse.The sample (n=150/arm) has 80% power to detect a mean HbA1c difference of 5.5 mmol/mol (0.5%) with an SD of 14.2 (1.3%) and alpha of 0.05 (allowing for 10% clinic and 20% patient attrition). ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: University of Melbourne Human Ethics Sub-Committee (ID 1647151.1). Dissemination will be in peer-reviewed journals, conferences and a plain-language summary for participants. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: >ACTRN12616001372471; Pre-results.