Compliance with pathology testing guidelines in Australian general practice: protocol for a secondary analysis of electronic health record data

Gorkem Sezgin, Andrew Georgiou, Rae-Anne Hardie, Ling Li, Lisa G. Pont, Tony Badrick, Guilherme S. Franco, Johanna I. Westbrook, Natalie Rinehart, Adam McLeod, Christopher Pearce, Marianne Shearer, Robin Whyte, Elizabeth Deveny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: In Australia, general practitioners usually are the first point of contact for patients with non-urgent medical conditions. Appropriate and efficient utilisation of pathology tests by general practitioners forms a key part of diagnosis and monitoring. However overutilisation and underutilisation of pathology tests have been reported across several tests and conditions, despite evidence-based guidelines outlining best practice in pathology testing. There are a limited number of studies evaluating the impact of these guidelines on pathology testing in general practice. The aim of our quantitative observational study is to define how pathology tests are used in general practice and investigate how test ordering practices align with evidence-based pathology guidelines. Methods and analysis: Access to non-identifiable patient data will be obtained through electronic health records from general practices across three primary health networks in Victoria, Australia. Numbers and characteristics of patients, general practices, encounters, pathology tests and problems managed over time will be described. Overall rates of encounters and tests, alongside more detailed investigation between subcategories (encounter year, patient's age, gender, and location and general practice size), will also be undertaken. To evaluate how general practitioner test ordering coincides with evidence-based guidelines, five key candidate indicators will be investigated: Full blood counts for patients on clozapine medication; international normalised ratio measurements for patients on warfarin medication; glycated haemoglobin testing for monitoring patients with diabetes; vitamin D testing; and thyroid function testing. Ethics and dissemination Ethics clearance to collect data from general practice facilities has been obtained by the data provider from the RACGP National Research and Evaluation Ethics Committee (NREEC 17-008). Approval for the research group to use these data has been obtained from Macquarie University (5201700872). This study is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health Quality Use of Pathology Program (Agreement ID: 4-2QFVW4M). Findings will be reported to the Department of Health and disseminated in peer-reviewed academic journals and presentations (national and international conferences, industry forums).

LanguageEnglish
Article numbere024223
Pages1-6
Number of pages6
JournalBMJ Open
Volume8
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

Fingerprint

Electronic Health Records
General Practice
Guidelines
Pathology
General Practitioners
Ethics
Health
International Normalized Ratio
Victoria
Clozapine
Research Ethics Committees
Glycosylated Hemoglobin A
Physiologic Monitoring
Warfarin
Practice Guidelines
Vitamin D
Observational Studies
Industry
Thyroid Gland
Research

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Australia
  • health informatics
  • pathology
  • primary care
  • quality in health care

Cite this

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title = "Compliance with pathology testing guidelines in Australian general practice: protocol for a secondary analysis of electronic health record data",
abstract = "Introduction: In Australia, general practitioners usually are the first point of contact for patients with non-urgent medical conditions. Appropriate and efficient utilisation of pathology tests by general practitioners forms a key part of diagnosis and monitoring. However overutilisation and underutilisation of pathology tests have been reported across several tests and conditions, despite evidence-based guidelines outlining best practice in pathology testing. There are a limited number of studies evaluating the impact of these guidelines on pathology testing in general practice. The aim of our quantitative observational study is to define how pathology tests are used in general practice and investigate how test ordering practices align with evidence-based pathology guidelines. Methods and analysis: Access to non-identifiable patient data will be obtained through electronic health records from general practices across three primary health networks in Victoria, Australia. Numbers and characteristics of patients, general practices, encounters, pathology tests and problems managed over time will be described. Overall rates of encounters and tests, alongside more detailed investigation between subcategories (encounter year, patient's age, gender, and location and general practice size), will also be undertaken. To evaluate how general practitioner test ordering coincides with evidence-based guidelines, five key candidate indicators will be investigated: Full blood counts for patients on clozapine medication; international normalised ratio measurements for patients on warfarin medication; glycated haemoglobin testing for monitoring patients with diabetes; vitamin D testing; and thyroid function testing. Ethics and dissemination Ethics clearance to collect data from general practice facilities has been obtained by the data provider from the RACGP National Research and Evaluation Ethics Committee (NREEC 17-008). Approval for the research group to use these data has been obtained from Macquarie University (5201700872). This study is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health Quality Use of Pathology Program (Agreement ID: 4-2QFVW4M). Findings will be reported to the Department of Health and disseminated in peer-reviewed academic journals and presentations (national and international conferences, industry forums).",
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Compliance with pathology testing guidelines in Australian general practice : protocol for a secondary analysis of electronic health record data. / Sezgin, Gorkem; Georgiou, Andrew; Hardie, Rae-Anne; Li, Ling; Pont, Lisa G.; Badrick, Tony; Franco, Guilherme S.; Westbrook, Johanna I.; Rinehart, Natalie; McLeod, Adam; Pearce, Christopher; Shearer, Marianne; Whyte, Robin; Deveny, Elizabeth.

In: BMJ Open, Vol. 8, No. 11, e024223, 01.11.2018, p. 1-6.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - Compliance with pathology testing guidelines in Australian general practice

T2 - BMJ Open

AU - Sezgin, Gorkem

AU - Georgiou, Andrew

AU - Hardie, Rae-Anne

AU - Li, Ling

AU - Pont, Lisa G.

AU - Badrick, Tony

AU - Franco, Guilherme S.

AU - Westbrook, Johanna I.

AU - Rinehart, Natalie

AU - McLeod, Adam

AU - Pearce, Christopher

AU - Shearer, Marianne

AU - Whyte, Robin

AU - Deveny, Elizabeth

N1 - Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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Y1 - 2018/11/1

N2 - Introduction: In Australia, general practitioners usually are the first point of contact for patients with non-urgent medical conditions. Appropriate and efficient utilisation of pathology tests by general practitioners forms a key part of diagnosis and monitoring. However overutilisation and underutilisation of pathology tests have been reported across several tests and conditions, despite evidence-based guidelines outlining best practice in pathology testing. There are a limited number of studies evaluating the impact of these guidelines on pathology testing in general practice. The aim of our quantitative observational study is to define how pathology tests are used in general practice and investigate how test ordering practices align with evidence-based pathology guidelines. Methods and analysis: Access to non-identifiable patient data will be obtained through electronic health records from general practices across three primary health networks in Victoria, Australia. Numbers and characteristics of patients, general practices, encounters, pathology tests and problems managed over time will be described. Overall rates of encounters and tests, alongside more detailed investigation between subcategories (encounter year, patient's age, gender, and location and general practice size), will also be undertaken. To evaluate how general practitioner test ordering coincides with evidence-based guidelines, five key candidate indicators will be investigated: Full blood counts for patients on clozapine medication; international normalised ratio measurements for patients on warfarin medication; glycated haemoglobin testing for monitoring patients with diabetes; vitamin D testing; and thyroid function testing. Ethics and dissemination Ethics clearance to collect data from general practice facilities has been obtained by the data provider from the RACGP National Research and Evaluation Ethics Committee (NREEC 17-008). Approval for the research group to use these data has been obtained from Macquarie University (5201700872). This study is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health Quality Use of Pathology Program (Agreement ID: 4-2QFVW4M). Findings will be reported to the Department of Health and disseminated in peer-reviewed academic journals and presentations (national and international conferences, industry forums).

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