29 April 2022

This FAQ list answers common questions about EPiC and its data. If you are having any difficulties with EPiC please check the FAQ list below for possible solutions. If you cannot find the answer, or would prefer to contact us, please email, call, or send a message in the chat box at the side of this page. We will respond promptly to any queries during business hours.

Email - admin@akohiringa.co.nz

Phone - 09 488 4286

Chat box - To the bottom of your screen

Who are "your patients" and "your practice patients"?

Your Patients

'Your patients' refers to anyone who has had a medicine dispensed from a prescription you provided. This includes patients in your regular practice and will also include any patients who had a medicine dispensed from a prescription that you provided in any other location, such as at an afterhours healthcare setting.

Your practice patients

'Patients in your practice' or 'your practice patients' refers to any dispensing for patients registered at the practice where most of your prescriptions are written. These medicines will include those dispensed from prescriptions provided by other prescribers working at your regular practice, as well as medicines dispensed to patients enrolled at this practice but provided by prescribers working in other settings, such as specialists, in secondary care or in afterhours settings.

Your account

How do I find out which practice has been assigned to me in EPiC?

Once logged in, the top bar displays the practice that is assigned to you in EPiC. The data used in the “your patients and practice” tab of EPiC has been gathered from patients in this practice.

How did you assign my practice in EPiC?

The practice assigned to you in EPiC is the practice you work at that has the highest number of your prescriptions dispensed. We have done this to ensure that your most common work practice is represented in the data in your EPiC stories. If you wish to view your data for another practice, please email us and ask for your default practice location to be re-allocated to your practice of choice.

When I view my profile, I do not have a practice attached to my account.

This could be due to one of two reasons:

1. The practice where you work does not have enrolled patients (eg, it is an after-hours clinic or outreach clinic). The patients you prescribe for will be registered at other practices.

2. You did not provide us with a practice during your account set up, so we have not assigned you one. Please email us with your practice location of choice.

I can see my prescribing data but it appears to be incomplete.

The data used in your EPiC stories comes from the practice/location where the majority of your prescribing occurs. You can only view the data for one practice location at a time in EPiC.

Why have I been assigned a practice that I do not work at?

The practice assigned to you in EPiC is the practice where the highest number of patients are enrolled that have had prescriptions from you dispensed. If this appears incorrect, it could be because you predominantly work somewhere that does not have an enrolled population, for example, an afterhours clinic, a student health clinic, or an allied health service provider. The practice where the largest number of patients, who you provided a prescription for, are enrolled will appear as your practice.

If you provide very few prescriptions in a year, then this could be the result of only a small number of patients. If you think this is still incorrect, please contact us to have your practice amended.

The data

Where is the prescribing data shown in my EPiC coming from?

Click here to find out more information about your prescribing data and where it comes from.

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, and in the specific data story documents here (located at the bottom of the page).


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 five focus conditions (antibiotics, asthma, cardiovascular disease, gout, and type two diabetes) in a variety of different ways. The dashboard also contains two two themes that provide analytics for medicines that have national significance: EPiC Annual Report and EPiC Cilazapril.

Why was EPiC developed?

EPiC is part of the delivery of a Pharmac contract for the Responsible Use of Pharmaceuticals in primary care. Matui (the team behind He Ako Hiringa and EPiC) was formed to provide data analysis and visualisations and educational resources to promote and encourage equitable prescribing practices.

Who is the intended audience?

The intended audience is primary care clinicians. Primary care prescribers (GPs, nurse practitioners, registered nurse prescribers and pharmacist prescribers) are able to view their own prescribing data along with their practice data (if applicable) and the national data. Non-prescribers are able to view the national level prescribing data.

How do I print/download my data?

The EPiC dashboard is an online resource. Due to the interactive nature of EPiC, we do not offer a downloadable or printed version. If you require a downloadable or printable version of EPiC (eg, your EPiC Annual Report) we recommend screenshotting the graphs most relevant to you.

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.

What’s the difference between a He Ako Hiringa account and an EPiC account?

Nothing. Once you have verified your He Ako Hiringa account, you can access EPiC simply by clicking any of the EPiC links around the website. Just make sure you are logged into He Ako Hiringa first.

I can already see national data without logging in, why would I bother getting an account?

You can access the national data in EPiC (which does not show any personal or practice prescribing data) without an account. However, if you are a prescriber and wish to see your own data and your practice data, you will need an account.

I’m not a prescriber; can I use EPiC?

Yes, non-prescribers can use EPiC to view the national data. Currently, prescriber-level EPiC data can only be accessed by GPs, pharmacist prescribers, nurse practitioners and registered nurse prescribers. Non-prescribers can access the national data in EPiC here.

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.

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.

Click here to watch a quick video that takes you on a tour of the EPiC dashboard.