Improving the quality of outcomes & services for people experiencing chronic pain

ePPOC is a program which aims to improve the quality of outcomes and services for people experiencing chronic pain. It is an initiative of the Faculty of Pain Medicine and was established in 2013 with funding from the NSW Ministry of Health.

ePPOC was initially piloted in a small number of services in New South Wales in 2013, and in 2014 all specialist adult pain management services were invited to participate. A separate database (known as PaedePPOC) was also established in 2014 to address the differing needs of the paediatric pain management sector.

Key functions

The key functions of ePPOC are to facilitate the collection of standardised data from pain management services, analyse and report these data, use the data for benchmarking, and promote research into areas of importance in pain management.

Standardised information

Standardised information about patients and their treatment is collected via patient-reported outcome measures at defined points in an episode of care. In paediatric services, information is also collected from the patient’s parents and/or carers. Information about the type and intensity of treatment is completed by the staff of the pain management service. To assist services to collect the patient information, ePPOC has developed specialised software called epiCentre (ePPOC Patient Information Centre). epiCentre provides a means of using the data at an individual patient level, and at the same time promoting the consistent collection, terminology, process and protocol among participating services.

Reports 

Reports are provided to each pain management service every six months. As the information collected is standardised across all pain services, meaningful comparisons to other participating pain services can be made. In this way, pain management units can compare their patient population, outcomes and service delivery to those seen in other services.

Benchmarking

Benchmarking is an important function of ePPOC as it:

  • enables comparison of performance between services;
  • identifies reasons for variation between services;
  • allows identification of practices and processes that result in superior outcomes; and
  • drives implementation of best-practice care to patients.

Yearly benchmarking workshops examine the benchmarking data, share information and learn from services who are achieving the best outcomes.

Research

Research is facilitated through the availability of the ePPOC database for studies into areas of interest in pain management.

Participating services

  • Central Coast Integrated Pain Service, Gosford Hospital
  • Coffs Harbour Chronic Pain Service
  • Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Multidisciplinary Pain Clinic
  • Greenwich Hospital Pain Management Service
  • Hunter Integrated Pain Service, John Hunter Hospital
  • Illawarra Shoalhaven Chronic Pain Service
  • Innervate Pain Management
  • John Hunter Children’s Hospital, Children’s Complex Pain Service
  • Lismore Base Hospital, Pain Clinic
  • Liverpool Hospital Chronic Pain Services
  • Michael J Cousins Pain Management and Research Centre, Royal North Shore Hospital
  • Nepean Pain Unit
  • Orange Chronic Pain Clinic
  • Prince of Wales Hospital, Department of Pain Management
  • Royal Prince Alfred Pain Management Clinic
  • St George Hospital Pain Management Unit
  • St Vincent's Hospital Sydney Pain Clinic
  • Sydney Children's Hospital Randwick Interdisciplinary Complex Pain Service
  • Sydney Pain Management Centre 
  • Sydney Spine and Pain Rehab
  • Tamworth Integrated Pain Service (TIPS)
  • The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Complex Pain Clinic
  • Westmead Hospital Pain Management Centre
  • Gold Coast Health, Interdisciplinary Persistent Pain Centre
  • Metro South Health Persistent Pain Management Service, Princess Alexandra Hospital
  • North Queensland Persistent Pain Management Service, Townsville Hospital
  • Queensland Interdisciplinary Paediatric Persistent Pain Service
  • Reforge Veteran Care
  • St Vincent's Private Hospital Brisbane
  • Sunshine Coast Persistent Pain Management Service
  • Tess Cramond Pain and Research Centre
  • Wesley Pain and Spine Centre
  • Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  • Flinders Pain Management Unit
  • Northern Adelaide Pain Rehabilitation Service
  • Women's and Children's Paediatric Chronic Pain Service
  •  Royal Hobart Hospital, Persistent Pain Service
  • Advance Healthcare
  • Austin Pain Service, Austin Health
  • Bairnsdale Regional Health Service
  • Barbara Walker Centre for Pain Management, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne
  • Bendigo Health, Outpatient Rehabilitation Services, Pain Rehabilitation Clinic
  • Caulfield Pain Management and Research Centre, Alfred Health
  • Dorset Rehabilitation Centre
  • Eastern Health Ambulatory Pain Management Service
  • Empower Rehab
  • Epworth Hospital, Epworth Healthcare
  • Goulburn Valley Health Chronic Pain Clinic
  • Latrobe Regional Hospital
  • Melbourne Health
  • Monash Children’s Hospital Pain Service
  • Monash Health
  • Northern Health Service
  • Peninsula Health Integrated Pain Service, Persistent Pain Management Service
  • Precision Ascend
  • Royal Children's Hospital Children's Pain Management Clinic, Melbourne
  • Royal Women's Hospital
  • South West Healthcare Chronic Pain Clinic
  • University Hospital Geelong Pain Management Unit
  • Victorian Rehabilitation Centre
  • Western Health Pain Management
  • Fiona Stanley Hospital Pain Management Unit
  • Adelaide Primary Health Network, SA:
    - Living Well with Persistent Pain Centre North
    - Living Well with Persistent Pain Centre West
  • Brisbane North Persistent Pain Program 
  • Marathon Health
  • Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network, NSW:
    - Nepean Blue Mountains PHN Community Chronic Pain Management Program
  • North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network, VIC:
    - Merri Health
  • South Eastern NSW Primary Health Network, NSW:
    - COORDINARE Chronic Pain Management Program
  • WA Primary Health Alliance, WA:
    - 360 Health + Community
    - Arche Health Chronic Pain Service
    - Black Swan Health Limited Midland
    - Black Swan Health Limited Wanneroo
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  • Active+
  • Advantage South
  • APM NZ
  • Australis Specialist Pain Clinic (Australis Medical Ltd)
  • Body in Motion
  • Canterbury DHB, Burwood Hospital Pain Management Centre
  • Capital and Coast DHB, Wellington Hospital
  • Chronic Pain Service Bay of Plenty DHB 
  • Futureproof Rehab
  • Habit Rehabilitation
  • Hutt Valley DHB
  • Occupational Health Canterbury
  • Pain Management & Rehabilitation Services (PMARS)
  • Pain Management Southern Physiotherapy Limited
  • Pain Rehabilitation Christchurch
  • Persistent Pain Service South Canterbury DHB
  • Proactive Rehab
  • QE Health Limited
  • Remuera Physiotherapy & Pain Management
  • Southern DHB Persistent Pain Service, Dunedin Hospital
  • Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy Limited
  • Starship Complex Pain Service
  • TBI Health Group
  • The Auckland Regional Pain Service DHB (TARPS), Auckland Regional Hospital
  • Waikato DHB
  • Women's Health Pain Service, Auckland City Hospital

ePPOC Governance

ePPOC is managed by the Australian Health Services Research Institute (AHSRI) at the University of Wollongong, New South Wales. AHSRI has also established and manages outcome centres in the related fields of rehabilitation (Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre; AROC) and palliative care (Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration; PCOC).

ePPOC receives advice from a Clinical and Management Advisory Committee (CMAC) whose members include clinicians, key stakeholders, consumers and representatives of major financial contributors. The CMAC provides assistance in matters relating to data, reporting, research and management of ePPOC.

Download the CMAC Terms of Reference (pdf) 

Our team

David joined the team in May 2022, after an extensive career in both the public and private sector, most recently as Director of Quality and Safety for  a national community nursing and aged care organisation. He has held a varied range of operational management and clinical governance roles covering both face-to-face and telehealth delivery models

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Brigitte has a diverse background spanning medical research, healthcare marketing, communication, education, and strategy. Her career has been focused on understanding the treatment and management of chronic diseases, with a particular emphasis on neurological conditions. With a foundation in research, including a PhD in Parkinson’s disease, Brigitte brings a wealth of knowledge and a keen interest in translational research and outcomes improvement to her role.

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Meredith works as the ePPOC Improvement Facilitator for NSW. Meredith is a Registered Nurse with extensive experience as a community health clinician and manager, and as an Improvement Facilitator. Meredith has post graduate qualifications in Health Service Management (Quality). 

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Michelle works as an ePPOC Improvement Facilitator. She has a background in nursing and started her career as a mental health nurse in 1982, for the next 20 years she worked in the acute admission sector. She is also a qualified ICU nurse and has held additional roles in substance misuse, and HIV/AIDS. More recently Michelle worked as the CNC in a large Pain Management Clinic in Sydney, whilst in this role she was introduced to ePPOC.

She recently completed a Master of Global Health at UNSW, sparking an interest in governance and quality improvement.  

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Sarah is an Improvement Facilitator within the electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration. She has a breadth of experience in education, account management, and foreign exchange. She has been embedded within the Australian Health Services Research Institute since 2020, and now works predominantly with New Zealand-based ePPOC members.

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Dinberu Shebeshi joined ePPOC as a Research Fellow (Applied Statistics) in May 2021. Recently, Dinberu worked as an associate Biostatistician at the Sax Institute, Sydney. He has a background in statistics, with a Bachelor and Master degrees. During his PhD study in Clinical Epidemiology and Medical Statistics at the University of Newcastle, he applied his statistical skills on topics related to the Australian health care system, in the context of population ageing and the increasing burden of chronic disease. He has a particular interest in survival analysis, spatial analysis and GLM models.

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Linda joined AHSRI in March 2009 and has extensive experience in aged and community care program management in both the Commonwealth Government and community sectors. Linda provided administrative and project support to the Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration at AHSRI for 11 years and joined the Centre for Health Research Illawarra Shoalhaven Population (CHRISP) in 2020. In 2023, Linda commenced with the electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration (ePPOC).