School of Population Health

Effective Practice, Informatics & Quality Improvement

Effective Practice, Informatics & Quality Improvement

Effective Practice, Informatics & Quality Improvement (EPIQ) is an informal collaboration of academics and practitioners teaching and working in the fields of evidence-based practice, informatics and quality improvement at the University of Auckland. EPIQ was established in 2002 to facilitate the teaching and application of effective (evidence-based) practice, health informatics and quality improvement initiatives in the health and disability support sectors, regionally, nationally and internationally.

To date this website has mainly been used to host a series of teaching/learning tools to help students and practitioners develop their skills in evidence-based practice. These tools are based around a simple graphic frame called the GATE (Graphic Approach To Epidemiology) frame that we have developed.

The current versions of the tools can be found on the ‘2015 Evidence Based Practice and CAT Workbooks’ page of this site. They have been completely re-written in 2015 in MS Excel as ‘2015 GATE CAT Workbooks’ and were published here in October 2015. You will need MS Excel to use these workbooks. The previous versions of the CATs can be found on the ‘2013 CATs’ page. We plan to develop complimentary tools to support clinical audit and quality improvement in the future. 

The core EPIQ team:

Associate members:

EPIQ Activities

EPIQ members undertake teaching and research that integrates evidence based practice, informatics and quality improvement. The teaching includes both post-graduate university courses and workshops designed for current members of health related professions. The research is mainly undertaken in routine clinical practice using web-based and other electronic tools to support evidenced-based practice while simultaneously generating data for research.

A) University teaching programmes

1. Evidence-based practice

  • A course in evidence-based practice for 4th year medical students

2. Health informatics

3. Quality improvement

  • One postgraduate course:
  • Two undergraduate course in quality improvement: a short course in quality improvement for 5th Year medical students; and a quality improvement project for 6th Year medical students in association with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

B) Workshops

EPIQ runs half-day to two-day workshops (on request) in evidence-based practice (critical appraisal) and quality improvement.

C) Research and development

Members of the EPIQ team have partnered with Enigma Solutions  (link to in the development of PREDICT, a web-based clinical decision support system that predicts patients cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and provides evidence-based recommendations on how to manage risk. PREDICT is used by several thousand general practitioners, practice nurses and hospital-based cardiologists in New Zealand. The PREDICT system is simultaneously a clinical tool for assessing and managing CVD risk and a research tool that stores a copy of each patients CVD risk profile. The EPIQ-Enigma group have also developed a related web-based quality improvement programme (the All NZ Acute Coronary Syndrome [ANZACS] programme). ANZACS-QI collects detailed data on patient status and management following admissions to hospitals for acute coronary events throughout New Zealand.

The research component of PREDICT and ANZACS are the basis of the University of Auckland-led Vasular risk Informatics using Epidemiology and the Web (VIEW) research programme. Patient data from PREDICT and ANZACS are regularly linked to hospitalisations, deaths drug dispensing and laboratory test results using an encrypted version of the national health index number, a unique and comprehensive national health identifier. Click on this link to learn more about Vasular risk Informatics using Epidemiology and the Web (VIEW).