As the number of winter flu cases continues to rise, GPs now have a new resource to call on — a web portal that allows them to compare their own flu rates and vaccination uptake with national levels.
The QFeedback Portal (http://www.qsurveillance.org/QSurveillance/QFeedback.html) is a free tool just launched by the QSurveillance® primary care tracking database. It will be rolled out over the coming months to the 3,400 GPs using EMIS systems who contribute anonymous patient data to the monitoring service.
Julia Hippisley-Cox, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and General Practice at The University of Nottingham and co-founder of QSurveillance ®, said: “QFeedback is a powerful tool that will allow practices to see how they measure up against others with a similar demographic and nationally.
“It will be of enormous value in gauging levels of infectious diseases such as flu very quickly to allow local health services to respond speedily and ensure patients get the best possible care.”
The portal allows participating practices to login and view their own data on flu and other diseases such as cancer and heart disease, as well as vaccinations, and compare it with anonymised practices in their local area and across the UK.
The online tracking system also allows comparisons with practices with a similar population. Data can be interpreted as graphs, maps or tables.
Dr Arun Aggarwall, a GP at the Rainbow Surgery in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, is one of the first practices to trial the QFeedback service. Dr Aggarwall said: “This is a brilliant resource. I found it very quick and easy to use and the results have been very thought-provoking for our practice.
“As well as giving us an insight into our own incidence of seasonal problems such as flu, it will also enable us to compare how we are doing on longer-term issues such as heart disease, and concentrate our resources where they are most needed.”
QFeedback is a new development from the QSurveillance® project, which has arisen from QResearch®, a not-for-profit partnership between leading GP systems supplier EMIS and The University of Nottingham.
Sean Riddell, Chief Executive of EMIS, said: “We are very grateful to the EMIS practices that contribute data to QSurveillance®, and pleased that we are now able to give them something in return to help them to better plan their services to patients. I hope the addition of this new tool will encourage more practices to contribute to the database.”
QSurveillance® automatically collects anonymous patient data from GP surgeries across the UK on a daily basis, providing a real-time picture of the prevalence of diseases and vaccination uptake.
— Ends —
Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Times as “the nearest Britain has to a truly global university”, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.
The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 39,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.
The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.
More news from the University at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/news
University facts and figures at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/about/facts/factsandfigures.aspx
) is a real time clinical surveillance system based on data from 3,400 EMIS general practices — representing 23 million patients — throughout the UK. It forms a critical part of the UK emergency response to pandemic flu, natural and chemical disasters.
The QFeedback Practice Portal software has been developed by The University of Nottingham and ClinRisk Ltd and is available to all EMIS LV practices contributing to the QSurveillance® scheme free of charge for the next 12 months.
Established in 1987, EMIS* (Egton Medical Information Systems Ltd) is the UK's leading supplier of software and related services to GP practices. As at 18 October 2010, 53.7 per cent of GPs in the UK use an EMIS system.