The Australian Primary Care Collaboratives Program (APCC) supported general practices to improve clinical outcomes, help maintain good health for those with chronic and complex conditions, and improve access to Australian general practice by promoting a culture of quality improvement in primary health care. The objective of the program was to encourage and support general practices and health services throughout Australia to deliver rapid, measurable, systematic and sustainable improvements in the care they provide to patients. This was achieved through the sound understanding and effective application of quality improvement methods and skills.
The Improvement Foundation delivered the APCC Program which was the first and largest Australian quality improvement program of its type in primary healthcare. The program was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and since its inception in 2004, the APCC Program has helped more than 4000 primary health care professionals work together to
- Improve patient clinical outcome
- Reduce lifestyle risk factors
- Help maintain good health for those with chronic and complex conditions
- Promote a culture of quality improvement in primary healthcare.
In an APCC program, participants came together at a series of learning workshops. They heard from experts and their peers, exchanged ideas, shared experiences and learnt about practical quality improvement skills. In between workshops, participants were supported to apply what they had learnt to deliver measurable, systematic, and sustainable improvements in the care they provided to patients using the proven quality improvement tool, the ‘Model for Improvement’.
Topics in the APCC Program over the years have included:
- Access and Care Redesign
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Prevention and Management of Chronic Conditions
- Closing the Gap – focussing on the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Chronic Disease Prevention & Self Management
Ultimately, the APCC Program aimed to find better ways to provide primary healthcare services to patients through shared learning, peer support, training, education and support systems using quality improvement tools and techniques.