Introducing EPiC

1 minute to Read
He Ako Hiringa
1 August 2022
Bulletin 16

If you would like to view a PDF version of the bulletin, click here.

Introducing EPiC

EPiC (Evaluating Prescribing to inform Care) is a free, data-driven tool that enables users to explore individual, practice and national prescribing behaviours.

EPiC’s report-style dashboard uses aggregated data from the Ministry of Health’s National Collections. EPiC allows users to see how individual and practice behaviours relate to key problems of national prescribing practice such as polypharmacy, and medicine overutilisation and underutilisation in different populations. These issues can connect to broader strategies such as health improvement and eliminating inequitable access to medicines.

A problem of practice is an area of prescribing practice, identified through national dispensing data, that is actionable by health practitioners. EPiC contains individual data themes each exploring a problem of practice; within each theme there are relevant data stories. The process for defining the problem and developing the stories involves landscape mapping, observing current data trends and key stakeholder engagement.

Why use EPiC?

Insights from EPiC data can help users to consider their practice and inform targeted interventions or quality improvement initiatives. To help with data interpretation, and to illustrate key messages, focus points are provided for each data story.

Presentation of large data sets in a series of interactive charts allows EPiC users to easily compare medicine use across different populations and demographics with age, gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic deprivation filters. Data can be viewed for both the practitioner’s patients – anyone who has been dispensed medicine from a prescription provided by the practitioner in any setting – and for patients enrolled at their practice. National data can also be viewed, allowing comparison with peers at practice and national levels.

Additionally, EPiC Reflect activities give guidance for reflecting on both the data and practitioner’s practice, providing a starting point for continuing professional development activities.

View EPiC at; personal and practice data require a free He Ako Hiringa account

What’s different about EPiC?

Like the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s Atlas of Health Care Variation, EPiC uses large data sets to highlight inequitable variations in healthcare. Points of difference to the Atlas are that EPiC shows prescriber and practice data, is updated quarterly, and is solely focused on medicines.

As well as an Annual Report, EPiC themes include cilazapril prescribing, and medicines for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and gout – asthma is coming soon. Underuse of medicines for secondary prevention is the problem of practice for the CVD theme and is explored under several data stories. Take a look – the data may point to actions you could be taking.