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