Sentinel Practices Data Sourcing (SPDS) project

COORDINARE, the South Eastern NSW PHN, believes that data collected during patient visits to their general practitioners has immense potential for regional population health and service planning.

To investigate ways of utilising electronic health records data for evidence-based primary care planning COORDINARE is undertaking the Sentinel Practices Data Sourcing (SPDS) project. The project has been ongoing since 2013 and has two specific streams explained below.

Bega Valley Medical Practice, featured in this video, has been participating in the SPDS project. Watch the video to understand how the practice has incorporated clinical data auditing into their daily operations, and the benefits to the practice and population care.

Chronic Disease Surveillance

The first stream of the project is a general practice-based sentinel site surveillance system to monitor chronic diseases and their associated risk factors in the region.

Results from the project so far have revealed higher than national average estimates for the age-adjusted prevalence of chronic diseases such as obesity/overweight, hypertension and anxiety disorders within the Illawarra Shoalhaven region.

The SPDS project has been the biggest population health and planning initiative for COORDINARE, and the project was the first of its kind in regional NSW.

Peer-reviewed international journal articles and peak-body conference presentations reporting the findings of the project so far include a Proof-of-concept Paper, a Disease Surveillance Paper, Exploratory Findings Paper #1, Exploratory Findings Paper #2 and a couple of poster abstracts (poster #1 and poster #2).

Additionally, COORDINARE continues to undertake qualitative investigations into identifying the key barriers faced by general practice staff in keeping their patient electronic health information clean and complete. While detailed exploration of this topic is currently underway an abstract of the review of current literature and an Initial Findings Paper are already currently available.

For further details please contact Abhijeet Ghosh at

Data Quality Improvement

Guided by the results and evidence base generated by the Stream 1 of Sentinel Practices Data Sourcing (SPDS) project, COORDINARE works with general practices to improve the overall effectiveness of routine primary care consultations through robust quality improvement principles and by using innovative tools and several comprehensive resources. This stream of the SPDS project focuses on supporting general practices in undertaking 'meaningful use of their practice data' through a structured and methodical approach of holistic 'clinical data auditing'.

COORDINARE provides support and training to partaking general practices in implementing catchment wide data quality improvement and enables general practices to undertake regular data driven service performance and patient outcomes monitoring. Through innovative tools and resources COORDINARE assists practices in regularly benchmarking their own performance against the regions averages and peer as well as exemplar practices.

Over the past few months this stream of the SPDS project has continued to be rolled out across the entire South Eastern NSW region, with more than 100 practices now signed up. General practices that are keen to get involved in this project can contact Abhijeet Ghosh at or their Health Coordination Consultant on 1300 069 002.