Lumos was Australia’s first ongoing state-wide linked data asset across the primary healthcare system, and the largest collaboration the NSW Ministry of Health has undertaken with primary health networks and general practices.
The Lumos program, which aims to analyse patients’ journeys through the health system, has currently been adopted by more than 630 general practices across the state. Under the program extracted de-identified data from general practices using programs such as POLAR, are linked to state held patient records to gain a comprehensive view of a patients’ healthcare journey. Data linkages are undertaken twice per year, in partnership with the NSW Health Centre for Health Record Linkage. These include emergency departments, ambulance, integrated care, mental health services, private and public hospitals, and other health related records.
The aim is to use the data to identify opportunities for improving patients’ experience and health outcomes. The data will be utilised to guide an overall system redesign and help NSW Health to identify ways to improve services.
So far, the program has found, for example, that patients who received a mental health diagnosis in hospital that was not recorded at their GP were more likely to attend an emergency department in the following year. In another example, it has found that patients whose diabetes was first recorded at their GP were less likely to present to the ED or be admitted to hospital. These findings are crucial for a system-wide strategic planning of population health at regional and local levels, down to individual practices. The program also revealed that mental illness is a burden of disease for general practices, an important insight which enables GPs to translate it into action in the form of upskilling in these areas and investigate how to improve accessibility for their patients to those services.
Outcome Health is proud that our own POLAR platform is part of such an important and meaningful initiative, aiming at driving improvements in the quality of care for Australians, for the better health outcomes of the community.
To read more about the Lumos program, visit Lumos (nsw.gov.au).
If you are a GP or PHN and want to know more about POLAR and how to maximise the full potential of your data, visit POLAR – Cloud-based clinical intelligence (polargp.org.au)
Or contact us on Contact – POLAR (polargp.org.au)