GPEx has recently hosted Trisha Rogers, a Masters of Public Health student from the University of Adelaide, to complete her research placement. Trisha has worked with the Research and Innovation team at GPEx to analyse de-identified GP Explore data and identify trends.

So, what does it tell us?

  • The most common diagnoses categories seen by our registrars were respiratory, musculoskeletal, skin and general and unspecified.
  • The least common diagnosis categories were male genital, blood and immune mechanism and social problems.

This shows similar patterns to other published Australian patient encounter studies such as BEACH – which was a study run by the University of Sydney between 1998 and 2017. The BEACH study used a paper-based questionnaire to record 100 consecutive patient encounters from a random sample of 1,000 GPs (including registrars) annually over 18 years (4). This supports the integrity of the data you have been entering into GP Explore.

What else?

  • Registrars aged over 35 and with more experience were more likely to see older patients than registrars aged <35
  • Female registrars reported managing a higher number of problems per consultation than male registrars.
  • This shows there are differences in the experience across registrars and it highlights the importance of reflection, identification of gaps and planning learning across the curriculum.

Did you know?

  • The overall percentage of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander patients seen by our registrars was 2.7%).
  • This may be an underrepresentation- previous research has shown that over 20% of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander patients do not have their status recorded in patient encounter tracking tools (23), so this may be an underestimation of encounters. In GPEx cultural awareness training we workshop the importance of seeking confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status in a culturally safe way – we encourage our registrars to link in with the Country SA PHN cultural awareness training being provided though GPEx, and other support provided through our Aboriginal Health team.

What’s the take-home message?

Overall, this project shows there are variations in patient encounter data across registrars and practices and highlights the need to regularly reflect on individual data to determine if a reasonable case mix has been achieved. GPEx are further developing GP Explore to further streamline data entry and reflection. We plan to also make this tool available for Supervisors in 2020.