News

Cultural identification and disease assessment in general practice


Morgan Liotta


9/08/2019 2:56:28 PM

The RACGP has released two new clinical audits to assist GPs in identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

RACGP workbooks
The clinical audits identify and record data using existing best-practice medical software.

Accurately identifying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients who attend a practice is only the first step in providing culturally safe, clinically targeted care for this patient population, the RACGP states in its new clinical audit and quality improvement activity, Identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients in general practice
 
RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health has developed this activity, along with the Improving renal disease outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients workbook, with the aim to identify the proportion of patients recorded as being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin, and enable a review of the accuracy of these records using existing medical record software.
 
The audit process will help GPs to implement strategies to ensure their practice routinely and effectively identifies Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, delivering opportunity to provide appropriately targeted and high-quality care.
 
Dr Tim Senior, a GP with a special interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and RACGP medical educator, led the review of the clinical audits. He previously told newsGP that patient identification, as well as explaining why the identification questions are being asked, is an essential part of assessing care plans.

‘Asking the question is important … the explanation is crucial is well,’ he said. ‘Being able to say, “The reason I am asking is to allow us to make better clinical decisions so that your immunisations are correct, the preventive healthcare we do is correct, and we can actually tailor it towards you better than we might otherwise”.’
 
RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health recommends that practices routinely record Australian-born patients as per their Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or non-Indigenous status, rather than in the ‘Australian’ category.
 
Providing regular opportunities for patients to update their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status will not only enable pre-existing patients to identify their status, but patients who may not want to identify upon registration may become more comfortable to let practice staff know at a later date.
 
On completion of the identification audit, participants will be able to:

  • identify the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients in the practice’s patient population compared with that in the local area
  • recognise the importance of accurate recording of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status to high-quality care
  • develop strategies for improving routine recording of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status of the patient population and implement these processes in their practice
  • evaluate the impact of the new processes on the accurate recording of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status
  • consider ways to improve the quality of care delivered to identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.
The renal disease workbook aims to identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) also using existing medical record software. The audit process will allow GPs to select five of these patients to develop and implement strategies to assist them and other patients to improve their renal function and slow or prevent the progression to end-stage kidney disease, cardiovascular disease (CVD) or stroke.
 
On completion of this audit, participants will be able to:
 
  • identify the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult patients in the practice’s patient population that have abnormal renal pathology
  • select and evaluate five patients from this target group
  • develop strategies to help these patients improve their renal function and address risk factors for end-stage renal disease and CVD
  • implement these strategies into their practice
  • evaluate the impact of the new processes on the renal function of the selected patients
  • consider ways to improve the quality of care delivered to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients with, or at risk of, CKD.
Identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients in general practice: Clinical audit quality improvement activity and the Improving renal disease outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients workbook are available on gplearning.
 
Both activities are eligible for 40 Category 1 points in the RACGP QI&CPD Program. (As of the 2020–22 triennium, the RACGP QI&CPD Program will be renamed to the RACGP CPD Program.)
 
RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health offers other post-Fellowship continuing professional development activities.



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clinical audit identification



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