1000 GPs adopt new way to manage chronic disease

Rural GP Dr Myrle Grey tries out cdmNEt
  • Over 10,000 chronically ill Australians using new chronic disease management system
  • Trials showing significant improvement in quality of care and effectiveness
  • Practice incomes increased by more than $35,000 per GP
  • Keeping people with diabetes, asthma and arthritis out of hospital;
  • Reducing Australia’s $60 billion chronic care costs.

Victoria’s Collaborative Care Cluster goes national

Launch and embargo 10.30 am Friday, 17 August

With Victorian Health Minister David Davis MLC

At The Alfred Centre, Monash University Lecture Theatre, Level 5, 99 Commercial Road, South Melbourne

The juggling act of managing chronic illness has been streamlined for 10,000 patients, 1,000 GPs and nearly 3,000 allied health professionals.

Today the Victorian Health Minister David Davis announced that, following the successful pilot of the Collaborative Care Cluster Australia (CCCA) project, CCCA is now set to go national.

CCCA uses the Victorian-developed cdmNet service to enable the care team to go online and share patient information, email referrals and manage medications. It also produces the necessary documentation automatically, sets reminders for reviews and flags alerts, such as patient allergies—all at the touch of a button.

“The digital revolution has already transformed how we keep in touch with friends, how we do business, book travel, buy music and much more,” says Professor Michael Georgeff, CEO of Precedence Health Care. “It’s time we used these same technologies to deliver better health care, more effectively, to more Australians.”

More than 7 million Australians have a chronic illness, representing a $60 billion burden on Australia’s health care system. GPs oversee the chronic disease management of their patients, collaborating with specialists, pharmacists and other allied health professionals using care plans funded by Medicare. Regular reviews are vitally important for tracking the patient’s condition, ensuring they continue to have the best care and preventing declines that can lead to hospitalisation.

“We’re offering a more efficient way for general practitioners to liaise with other members of the care team, particularly those that are outside the general practice,” says Professor Georgeff.

“cdmNet reduces the need for manual or complicated ways of making records. It drives efficiency for the GP, does the paperwork, helps prepare billing and frees them up to spend more time with the patient,” says Jason Trethowan, CEO of Barwon Medicare Local.

Independent university trials of CCCA technologies and cdmNet are already showing improvements in quality of care. “The system was first trialled in Geelong with diabetes patients and in Melbourne’s South East, involving 7-8 chronic illnesses.” says Professor Leon Piterman AM Pro Vice-Chancellor Monash University (Berwick and Peninsula).

“We’re now able to demonstrate that it improves adherence to the care plan and follow up of the plan. This leads to definite improvements in the control of diabetes, blood pressure, blood sugar, blood lipids and so on. We are seeing improvements in the clinical condition of diabetes patients and cardiovascular risk factors associated with diabetes,” he says.

Rural GP Dr Myrle Gray says many of her chronic care patients have embraced cdmNet enthusiastically. “They like getting the reminders, too. They enjoy it. It gives them a sense that they’re on top of their care plan. I have one 75-year old lady who told me that her son is getting her an iPad. She said she’s looking forward to accessing her plan on iPad.”

CCCA partners include Precedence Health Care, Fred Health, Cisco Systems, Monash University, the Australian E-Health Research Centre (CSIRO), Baker IDI, Southern Health, Royal District Nursing Service, South Eastern Melbourne Medicare Local, Bupa, Diabetes Australia, and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

CCCA is supported by funding from the Victorian Government. cdmNet is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Digital Regions Initiative.

For further information and interviews visit precedencehealthcare.com or contact

Niall Byrne, 0417 131-977, niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or AJ Epstein, 0433 339-141 aj@scienceinpublic.com.au

Quotes available from

  • Professor Paul Zimmet AO Director Emeritus and Director of International Research, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute
  • Professor Leon Piterman AM Pro Vice-Chancellor, Monash University (Berwick and Peninsula)
  • Professor Greg Johnson CEO and National Policy Manager of Diabetes Australia
  • Paul Cohen Deputy CEO of Barwon Health
  • Jason Trethowan CEO of Barwon Medicare Local
  • Stan Goldstein Medical Director at Bupa
  • A selection of participating general practitioners

at http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/embargoed/backgroundandcomments