Register for a HealthyGC Account Forgotten Password
Page content updated 13/08/2019
News & EventsNewsCarl's Corner - Not everything important is measurable

Carl's Corner - Not everything important is measurable


Carl's Corner - Reflections of a Clinical Lead, Gold Coast Primary Health Network

Not everything important is measurable

On the 1st August, the Quality Improvement Practice Incentive Payment (PIP QI) finally became a reality for Australian general practices.

After many years of planning, the Department of Health confirmed the three key requirements: that accredited general practices register for participation in PIP QI Incentive, periodically share de-identified data with their Primary Health Networks and that they undertake continuous quality improvement in a structured manner. 

Many general practices already meet the last two of these requirements. GCPHN and practices have been using PenCS products like CAT Plus for years to inform their CQI projects. More recently, practices have started using Primary Sense, a bespoke data extraction tool specifically developed for the Gold Coast. 

The prevailing consensus in implementation science is that meaningful improvements are usually data-driven. In fact, authors like James Harrington feel “measurement is the first step…to improvement’. According to this paradigm, unless you can measure something, you cannot control or improve it. 

Unsurprisingly then, modern organisations routinely (and sometimes reflexively) collect many types of data at considerable cost. In fact, the sheer volume and quality of available data in healthcare increasingly threatens to exceed our available resources and abilities to analyse and use it to its full potential. 

Our collective challenges in the Gold Coast are therefore to ensure that the data we use is accurate and reliable, that we use the data in ways that are acceptable, feasible and beneficial for patients and practices and that we ensure the safety and confidentiality of the data. 

However, as we embark on our data-driven PIP QI Incentive journey, it is timely to reflect on the words of the late Prof Elliot Eisner that ‘not everything important is measurable, and not everything measurable is important’. There may currently be no indicators or data for compassion, kindness or empathy, but they remain more important than ever.

Dr Carl De Wet
Clinical Lead, Gold Coast Primary Health Network
News & Events


Help improve our website

Did you find what you were looking for today?:

We appreciate your feedback and thank-you for taking the time to help improve our website. Please use the form below to provide comments about your experience on our site today.


Primary Health Positions Vacant within the Gold Coast Region

The information on this page is for professionals seeking work in primary health care within the Gold Coast Region. Read more...

Upcoming GCPHN Events

Gold Coast Primary Health Network (GCPHN) assists healthcare professionals in the Gold Coast region through presenting professional education evenings and training events. Read more...

Search for Health Services outside of the Gold Coast Area

The national Health Services Directory is delivered by Healthdirect Australia. Here you can search for health services outside of the Gold Coast Region. Search the NHSD Directory...


Thank you for printing this HealthyGC article! Please don’t forget to come back to for more health and lifestyle articles and event information.