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Putting prevention into practice (Green Book)

Effective information management

General practice information management can harness information resources and capabilities that can create value for the practice as a business entity as well as improving patient care in prevention and delivering efficiency gains.

Benefits from managing health information strategically include:

  • The delivery of more consistent and better quality of patient care: this can be to all patients or to targeted groups through:
    • increased adherence to guidelines124,125
    • reminders126
    • screening127
    • electronic health records
    • use of practice registers
  • Reduction in the likelihood of medical errors:
    • response to prompts and reminders
    • better identification of needs, either opportunistically or in summary sheets
    • improved accuracy of information through better legibility of records and greater disclosure of sensitive information
    • improved organisation of clinical information
  • Improved efficiency
    • prescribing
    • saves GP time by directly gathering information from patients
    • improved storage of information (eg. pathology and imaging, medications)
    • reduced duplication of tests
    • increased use of generic prescribing128
  • Improved communication (amount and format) between GPs, patients and health care sectors through:
    • the sharing of data, including discharge summaries
    • record linkages
    • patient education
  • Improved access
    • to care (eg. telehealth)
    • to information (eg. automated education voice messages, the internet)
  • Improved clinical decision making through access to:
    • computerised clinical decision support systems
    • high quality information (eg. Cochrane reviews)
    • quality patient education material
    • more complete health summaries129.

Other benefits include:

  • acceptable for patients
  • reduced costs.130,131

If you have a prevention plan, your information management system will become a tool for monitoring progress.


  • Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing Broadband for health at
  • Chaos to clarity: GP internet training manual – using the internet to find clinical, evidence based information by Peter Schattner and Karen Young at select 'resource directory' then 'evidence based medicine' then ‘chaos to clarity: GP internet training manual’
  • National Electronic Health Transition Authority (NeHTA) is the overarching group coordinating information about IT advances and issues in health care and is responsible to the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Committee at
  • The General Practice Computing Group (GPCG) at