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Quality improvement

What is quality improvement?

Quality improvement in health is an approach to regularly review and refine your processes in order to improve them, which will in turn impact positively on the care and health outcomes for your patients.

Your Primary Care Liaison Officer can support your practice to develop and complete quality improvement activities such as:

  • health data reports
  • data cleansing activities
  • quality improvement workbooks and activity sheets
  • the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) method
  • clinical audits.

Practice Incentives Program

The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) aims to support general practice activities which include continual improvements, quality care, enhanced capacity, and improved access and health outcomes for patients.

Services Australia administers the PIP on behalf of the Department of Health. Accreditation is a requirement to be eligible.

Practice Incentives Program (PIP) Quality Improvement (QI)

The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) Quality Improvement (QI) Incentive is a payment to general practices that participate in quality improvement in partnership with their local PHN to improve patient outcomes and deliver best practice care.

  • The PIP QI commenced on 1 August 2019.
  • General practices wanting to participate in the PIP QI need to register through Provider Digital Access (PRODA).
  • The PIP QI payment is paid quarterly by Services Australia to the nominated bank account of the practice.

Practices can receive a maximum payment of $12,500 per quarter, based on $5.00 per Standardised Whole Patient Equivalent, per year.

In order to receive a payment general practices must:

  • be eligible for the Practice Incentives Program
  • apply for the PIP QI Incentive via Provider Digital Access (PRODA) online through Health Professional Online Services (HPOS)
  • notify your local PHN Primary Care Liaison Team once you have registered for PIP QI
  • submit data to the PHN at least once during the data submission period for that quarter
  • participate in continuous quality improvement activities in partnership with the PHN.

What is PIP QI?

The Practice Incentive Payment for Quality Improvement (PIP QI) commenced on 1 August 2019.

There are two components:

  1. Share PIP Eligible Data Set with the PHN at least once per quarter.
  2. Complete CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement) in partnership with the PHN.
Participating practices:
  • must ensure CQI is recorded should you be audited.
  • may wish to focus on Quality Improvement Measures (QIMs) outlined by the Department.
  • will not be given any set targets on your CQI activities.
  • will not be required to report your CQI activities to the PHN.

Quality Improvement Approach

The best way to approach participating in a Quality Improvement initiative is to

  • establish a QI TEAM (whole-of-team responsibility)
  • connect with your PCLO for guidance and useful information
  • utilise the PDSA templates to set SMART GOALS to achieve and plan and test QI change ideas
  • measure success at the end of each PIP QI quarter and reflect.

And you must keep a record of all QI activities in the event of an audit.

PIP QI Quarters

General practices are required to submit data to their local PHN at least once within the relevant dates specified in the data submission period:

Payment Month





Data submission period

1 August to 15 October

1 November to 15 January

1 February to 15 April

1 May to 15 July

Where to go for help

Pen CS Support:

Services Australia:

To request QI Toolkits, or training in PIP QI, PenCS and/or PHN Exchange, please contact

The PHN Exchange and clinical audit tools

Our PHN works with general practices to increase the use of clinical data for quality improvement, patient care, and to support the goals of the business. Practices share data with the PHN to inform population health planning and to fund services most needed in the community.

The PHN Exchange and PenCS Clinical Audit Tool (CAT4) are tools provided by the PHN to assist practices. These tools can help practices to review their clinical data, recall patients with particular needs to ensure they receive the best possible care, and identify business opportunities for the practice.

For more information, contact our Primary Care Liaison Team via

Need PHN support?

Our Primary Care Liaison team is available to provide one-on-one support.