24 March 2022

This FAQ list answers common questions about EPiC and its data. You can also find the answers to support questions about EPiC here.

What is EPiC?

EPiC stands for Evaluating Prescribing to inform Care and this dashboard is a new user-friendly tool that allows primary care clinicians to explore prescribing trends for their practice, patients enrolled at their practice, and nationally. Over time it will allow clinicians to visualise their prescribing data for four focus conditions (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and gout) in a variety of different ways.

Why was EPiC developed?

EPiC is part of the delivery of a Pharmac contract for the Responsible Use of Pharmaceuticals in primary care. Matui was formed to provide data analysis and visualisations and educational resources to help promote and encourage more equitable prescribing practices.

Who is the intended audience?

The intended audience is primary care prescribers, these could be GPs, nurse prescribers or pharmacist prescribers. Each will have an individual login allowing them to view their own prescribing data along with their practice data (if applicable). National level prescribing data will be available for anyone interested in viewing this.

What is a problem of practice?

The term ‘problem of practice’ originates in the education sector and can be adapted for use in the health sector. In the education sector a ‘problem of practice’ is defined as: “An area that a school identifies that focuses on the instructional core, is directly observable, is actionable, and connects to a broader strategy of improvement.” Identifying a problem of practice is the first step of instructional improvement leading to enhanced learning outcomes. Identifying problems of practice may be seen as cornerstones to any theory of improvement.

For our use, we have utilised this theory of improvement and adapted the definition of problem of practice to: “An area of prescribing practice, identified through the national dispensing data, that is actionable by health practitioners, and connects to a broader strategy of improving equitable access to medicines and health improvement.”

The process for defining the problems of practice will involve reflecting on data and consulting with key stakeholders, aligning with the key objectives of He Ako Hiringa and our prior work towards achieving medicine access equity. He Ako Hiringa does this through initial development of the problem(s) of practice with an advisory group followed by formalised engagement with stakeholders.

How do I sign up to access EPiC?

If you have a He Ako Hiringa account and you're a prescriber, you can access EPiC here. If you don't have an account, you can sign up here.

Where are the data sourced from?

Our data come from the Ministry of Health datasets. We are currently utilising data from the Pharmaceutical Collection, the PHO Enrolment Collection and the National Minimum Dataset (hospital discharges). Future dashboards may include data from the Maternity Collection and from practice management systems.

How old are the data?

We aim to update the EPiC data every quarter, allowing for a one-month delay in receiving the data from the Ministry of Health.

How does EPiC differ from the HQSC Atlas of Healthcare Variation dashboard?

EPiC has similarities to the HQSC Atlas of Healthcare Variation dashboard, especially in its goal of achieving medicine access equity. However, EPiC displays data down to an individual practice or prescriber level.

How do I find out more about the methodology used in EPiC?

Extra information about data methodology can be found in the data methodology document here.

How do I navigate EPiC?

The EPiC stories are presented in an interactive report style, with the graphs and data displays able to be filtered by demographics and different time periods. New EPiC stories will be available every few months and will present prescribing data in varying ways.