A focus on general practice improvement

02 May, 2013

A new collaboration between Monash University and the Inner East Melbourne Medicare Local (IEMML) will provide a unique window into the patterns of general practice in Australia.

The Melbourne East MonAsh GeNeral PracticE DaTabase (MAGNET) unites the research strengths of the University with extracted health care data of close to one million patients attending general practices in the IEMML region.

The database, which protects the identities of patients, will provide information about patient and GP demographics, risk factors, diagnoses, medications prescribed, pathology results, antenatal care, and practice characteristics.

Scientific Director of MAGNET, Professor Danielle Mazza, Head of the Monash Department of General Practice, said the database provides a unique view of Australian general practice and offers opportunities to undertake research to inform policy and practice.

"Not only does MAGNET provide a rich dataset of medical records contextualised in the practice setting, but it provides the perfect platform for longitudinal studies and the rapid evaluation of policy initiatives," Professor Mazza said.

The Department of General Practice Research Showcase Day, to be held prior to the MAGNET launch, will provide an overview of the research being undertaken within the department. Projects centred on women's and children's health, chronic disease, medical education, and research translation will be on display.

Professor Mazza said the importance of general practice and primary care to the health of Australians cannot be overstated.

"Statistics show that more than 14.5 million Australians aged 15 and over see a GP every year, with more than 80 per cent visiting more than once. The research undertaken in our department is geared towards improving this vital aspect of health care for the benefit of the wider community," Professor Mazza said.