Data for Decisions

Research Overview

The ‘secondary’ use of de-identified medical records is widely recognised to have the potential to improve public health. Individual patient records are important to doctors and individuals, but when de-identified (to maintain anonymity and patient privacy) and combined with many thousands of other records, a powerful research tool is created with the potential to generate new knowledge to improve health care.

Data for Decisions, incorporating the Patron program of research, is a University of Melbourne research initiative undertaken through the University’s Department of General Practice. With the permission of general practices, we collate date from de-identified medical records and use the information for research to increase knowledge, quality improvement and improve healthcare practices. The data is stored in a University of Melbourne managed primary-care data repository called Patron.

The first practices consented to contribute to Data for Decisions in late 2017, but the program has been under development since 2016, building on strong foundations of international good practice in data governance and management.

The diagram depicts the steps from extraction of de-identified data from general practices, to use of the data by researchers - including the ethics, governance, legal and advisory processes.

Data for Decisions focuses on the use of de-identified data from general practice medical records to expand knowledge and ultimately promote service and population health improvements. Every research project that accesses the data stored in the Patron primary care data repository does so only after meeting rigorous data governance and ethics requirements. Each project using Patron data is described below, and each research group will provide a reader-friendly summary of their findings, and list of resulting publications, when available.

Projects approved to use Patron data

Defining the burden of antimicrobial prescribing in primary care attributable to sore throat

Meeting national targets and indicators to reduce mortality from chronic illness through general practice

GP-NAPS: The feasibility of passive audit of antibiotic prescribing in general practice

Future Health Today: Detecting people at risk of chronic kidney disease


Anna Wood - General Practice Research Officer

Dr Rachel Canaway - Project Manager, Collaboration and Network Manager

Prof Lena Sanci - Data Custodian, Head, Department of General Practice, The University of Melbourne

Dr Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis - Academic GP

Prof Jane Hocking - Epidemiologist

A/Prof Douglas Boyle - Data Steward, Director of HaBIC R2

Prof Jane Gunn - Deputy Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Science, Professor, Department of General Practice, The University of Melbourne

Prof Jon Emery - Professor of Primary Care Cancer Research, The University of Melbourne and Western Health

A/Prof Douglas Boyle - Data Steward, Original developer of GRHANITE, Director of HaBIC R2

Nicholas Lee - Data Warehouse Manager, HaBIC R2

Gary Yu Sun - GRHANITE Technical Support Lead Engineer, HaBIC R2

Amit Taneja - GRHANITE Technical Support Officer, HaBIC R2

Warwick Strangward - Operations Manager, HaBIC R2


We thank each and every primary care practice that is partnering with Data for Decisions. Some practices wish to remain anonymous and some wish to be named.*

Anglesea Medical, 3 McMillan Street, Anglesea 3230, Phone: 03 9215 6700

Campaspe Family Practice, 2-25 Caroline Chisholm Drive, Kyneton 3444

Charlton Medical, 2 Learmonth Street, Charlton, Vic 3525, Phone: 03 5477 6888

Churinga Medical Centre, 465 Mt Dandenong Road, Kilsyth, Vic 3137, Phone: 03 9722 9888

Donald Family Clinic, 7 McCraken Avenue, Donald, Vic 3480, Phone: 03 5497 1100

Eastbrooke Family Clinic Lincolnville, 493-495 Keilor Road, Niddrie Vic 3042, Phone: 03 9289 3333

Forsyth Park Medical Centre, 200 Forsyth Road, Truganina Vic 3029, Phone: 03 8360 5359

Friendly Medical, 83 Watton Street, Werribee, 3030

Guardian Medical Highpoint, 200 Rosamond Road, Maribyrnong 3032 Phone: 03 9318 4000

Guardian Medical Showgrounds Village, Shop 1, Showgrounds Village Shopping Centre, 320 Epsom road, Flemington, 3031 Phone: 03 9372 3600

HealthWest Medical and Specialist Centre, 549 Morris Road, Truganina, 3029 Phone: 03 8360 3877

Mediscreen Clinic, 799 Toorak Road, East Hawthorn, Phone: 03 8922 3105

Murchison Medical Clinic, 21 Impey Street, Murchison 3610, Phone: 03 5826 2575

MyClinic Tarneit, 412 Derrimut Road, Tarneit 3029, Phone: 03 8742 2088

O'Herns Road Medical Clinic, 62A Manor House, Epping, Vic 3076, Phone: 03 9408 6333

Parkwood Green Medical Centre, Suite 4, 1-5 Kate Way, Hillside 3037, Phone: 03 9449 4100

Peak Medical gpc, Hoppers Crossing Shopping Centre, 50 Old Geelong Rd, Hopper Crossing, Vic 3029, Phone: 03 9020 2600

Portland Family Clinic, 156 Percy Street, Portland, Vic 3305, Phone: 03 5523 7144

Rochdale Medical Centre, 1A Rochdale Square, Lalor, Vic 3075, Phone: 03 9706 5168

Ross Court Medical Complex, 35 Ross Street, Niddrie, Vic 3042, Phone: 03 9379 8610

Tatura Medical Centre, 4 Thomson Street, Tatura Vic 3616, Phone: 03 5824 1244

The Clinic Sunshine, 53 Devonshire Road, Sunshine 3020, Phone: 03 9311 0691

The University of Melbourne Shepparton Medical Centre,

Toorak Medical Centre,  89-100 Mathoura Road, Toorak 3142

William Street Clinic, Suite 1, 181 William Street, Melbourne, Vic 3000

If you are part of a general practice interested in becoming a Data for Decisions partner, please contact us.

* Our consent form lets practices choose to be acknowledged here. If you are a practice partnering in Data for Decisions and you would like to be named here, please contact us.


Research Projects

This Research Group doesn't currently have any projects

Department / Centre

General Practice

Unit / Centre

Data for Decisions

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