Top tips for PIP QI from North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network

  20 September 2019  NWMPHN   |   Third party content – view disclaimer

The Practice Incentives Program Quality Improvement (PIP QI) Incentive is a payment to general practices that participate in quality improvement to improve patient outcomes and deliver best practice care. This new incentive started on 1 August 2019.

There are two components to PIP QI:

  1. Participation in continuous quality improvement.
  2. Providing the PIP Eligible Data Set to your local Primary Health Network.

North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) can help you to meet your requirements for PIP QI. We have included some tips below based on the most frequently asked questions we have received since PIP QI commenced.

Tip 1: Register for PIP QI.

To be eligible to receive a PIP QI payment general practices must:

  • Apply for the PIP QI Incentive using Provider Digital Access (PRODA) and Health Professional Online Services (HPOS)
  • To register for PIP QI through HPOS you will need a PRODA account. This resource will help you set up a PRODA account.
  • How to use PRODA (Department of Health)

The steps on PRODA are slightly different depending on whether your practice is currently registered for other PIP payments and you are opting into PIP QI in addition or whether you are registering for the PIP program for the first time altogether.

The following instructions are only for registering for the Practice Incentive Payments for the first time:

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The following instructions are for practices who are currently claiming PIPs and choosing to opt in for PIP QI:

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Tip 2: Send us your PIP ID, practice name and practice address EXACTLY as it is registered with Medicare/on your Medicare statement.

Once you have registered for PIP QI you need to inform NWMPHN. Use this form to submit your PIP QI information directly to NWMPHN. You will need to enter your Practice ID exactly as it is written on your Medicare statement.

You can find your Practice ID located on your payment statement. The practice ID is in the top right-hand corner of the first page of the statement, labelled “Our reference” (see image), under the Australian Government crest for the Department of Human Services.

If you have any questions as you are filling out this form please contact us on or 03 9347 1188.

Tip 3: Submit data to NWMPHN at least once per quarter.

NWMPHN uses Pen CS CAT4 software to securely receive deidentified data from general practices. NWMPHN provides PEN CAT licences to practices in our region for free. This saves practices up to $2750 every 12 months.

Practices using Medical Director, Best Practice and ZedMed automatically submit deidentified data on the first day of each month through the CAT4 scheduler tool. Practices using clinical software that is not compatible with the scheduler are required to submit data manually.

NWMPHN collects deidentified data monthly to allow practices three opportunities to submit deidentified data in the PIP QI quarter. Deidentified practice data received by NWMPHN is not sent to the Department of Health or any other third party.

Tip 4: What if I don’t have CAT4 installed?

In order to meet the data sharing eligibility requirements for the PIP QI Incentive, a general practice must submit the PIP Eligible data set to their PHN. NWMPHN uses CAT4 to securely receive deidentified data from general practices. If you do not currently have CAT 4 installed at your practice, please contact:

Tip 5: Use CAT4 to visualise and review practice data on the PIP QI 10 Measures.

NWMPHN supports practices to use the PEN CAT tool to analyse and use their practice data for quality improvement. Group and in-practice training sessions are available.

You can use CAT4 to visualise your practice’s data on the PIP QI 10 Measures. The next CAT4 software update will include additional features that practices can use to measure their improvements against the 10 Quality Improvement Measures.

Pen CS is running a series of webinars for practices on how to use CAT4 for each of the 10 Measures. Pen CS has also released a new guide for general practices on QI activities based on the 10 PIP QI measures. It has a section on using CAT4, data cleansing recipes and a number of recipes associated with the PIP QI 10 Measures.

Data cleansing is an essential feature of CAT4 (image courtesy: Pen CS).

Tip 6: Understand the ‘continuous quality improvement’ requirements for PIP QI.

One of the eligibility requirements for PIP QI is that practices ‘participate in continuous quality improvement in collaboration with their PHN’.

To meet this requirement each practice is required to undertake continuous quality improvement These improvements do not need to be associated with the PIP QI 10 Measures but can focus on any area that your practice chooses.

As part of this requirement you do not need to submit any evidence of your continuous quality improvement activities to NWMPHN or the Department of Health. However, you will need to keep evidence of these activities.

Your practice will also be required to sign an annual declaration for the Department of Human Services confirming you have met the requirements of the QI PIP as per the process for other PIPs.

Each practice in our catchment has been assigned a relationship manager who can assist you with your improvement activities. This is part of our quality improvement support model. To find out more contact your relationship manager directly or contact NWMPHN by email:

Tip 7: Start planning your continuous quality improvement activities.

NWMPHN uses the Model for Improvement to support practices with quality improvement activities. You can learn about the Model for Improvement through these short videos

NWMPHN has also developed a Quality Improvement Guide and Tools, which includes templates and examples to help you understand how to complete quality improvement activities in your practice.

If you would like further support on quality improvement contact your relationship manager directly or contact NWMPHN by email:

Tip 8: Keep a record of your QI activities to show evidence.

For PIP QI you need to show evidence of the improvement activities that your practice has conducted over a 12-month period. In order to do this, you need to record what you are doing.

Using this checklist is an easy way to record your activities. You can record your goal, how you will measure your goal and ideas for how to meet it, then record each PDSA cycle that you test.

You should designate a place in the practice to store evidence of your QI activities, whether that is hard copy in a specific folder or soft copies saved to your practice’s computer network storage.

You could also document your improvement activities by showing minutes of clinical meetings where you have discussed quality improvement, or ways that you have shared your activities with staff and patients, such as on notice boards or on your website.

Person capturing minutes at a clinical meeting.
Minutes from clinical meeting are a good way to document quality improvement.

Tip 9: Get started now with the PIP QI Readiness Checklist.

Are you keen to get started with PIP QI? Work through our PIP QI Readiness Checklist for General Practice with your practice team.

If you have questions on PIP QI or would like further support on quality improvement contact your relationship manager directly or contact NWMPHN by email:

Where can I get further information?

Disclaimer: This article was provided by NWMPHN. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network does not warrant or represent the accuracy, currency and completeness of any information or material included within.