ePBRN Primary Care Health Informatics Working Group

The UNSW Electronic Practice-Based Research Network (ePBRN) is a core PHCI infrastructure and platform for PHCI Stream projects. ePBRN is established with a collegial network of computerised general practices, area/district health services, and other health providers involved with integrated care in the Fairfield health neighborhood. Funding has been received from UNSW Medicine and UNSW MREII Projects to establish the ePBRN. The ePBRN, coordinated by the General Practice Unit at Fairfield Hospital, connects general practices and other health services, such as diabetes clinics and community health Centres, in the Fairfield health neighborhood. The ePBRN methodology includes the extraction and linking of patient information in a secure way that protects patient privacy. ePBRN members receive feedback and act on the quality of clinical information in an ongoing quality improvement program.

 Informatics methods, developed with collaborators in the UK, Canada, and USA, are used to manage extremely large data sets. The recent recognition of UNSW Australia as a WHO Collaborating Centre (eHealth) reflects UNSW’s significant research strength in informatics and eHealth research. At present, this primary and integrated care data repository contains pseudonymized data from a community hospital, a diabetes clinic, and 10 general practices. This is a valuable and useful platform from which to conduct ethical and confidential clinical and other translational research and quality improvement audits. Currently, we are funded by the HCF to use the ePBRN to develop data-driven models to predict and prevent re-admission for patients with type-2 diabetes in the Fairfield neighborhood.