Monash DGP at the forefront of big health data research

Building on the success of the Monash East Melbourne General Practice Database (MAGNET), the Department of General Practice continues to develop its capability in the utilisation of routinely collected GP data for research that supports policy and practice.

Supported by two RACGP research foundation grants, researchers have developed a novel health data source that can be used to examine the care patients receive across their health care journey. MAGNET, a collaboration between Monash University and Melbourne east GP Network, contains information extracted from the computerised medical records from participating clinics in the inner east Melbourne region. This data was linked with patient level data from emergency departments run by Eastern Health, the primary hospital operator in the region. This linkage has allowed examination of the care patients receive in the GP setting, and its association with subsequent emergency department presentation. The two projects used this data set to examine specific aspects of care provided to older patients. In particular, the research looked at how the GP management of chronic disease in older patients related to their emergency department usage.

The projects highlight how GP data linkage can be utilised to provide new insight into health services delivery and the management of patients across their healthcare journey. Further research based on the results of these projects is currently in development, along with plans to expand the linkage to population areas in east Melbourne.

The results of these research studies are in the process of submission for peer-reviewed publication, and will be presented at the Primary Health Care Research and Information Systems (PHCRIS) conference, and at GP17.

For more information, please contact Professor Danielle Mazza at