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
  • 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 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
  • 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, Northern Adelaide Local Health Network, Modbury Hospital
  • Women's and Children's Paediatric Chronic Pain Service
  •  Royal Hobart Hospital, Persistent Pain Service
  • Advance Healthcare
  • Austin Pain Service, Austin Health
  • Ballarat Health Services Persistent Pain Management Services
  • 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
  • Victorian Rehabilitation Centre
  • Western Health Pain Management
  • Fiona Stanley Hospital Pain Management Unit
  • Pelvic Pain Clinic, King Edward Memorial Hospital
  • Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
  • Adelaide Primary Health Network, SA:
    - Living Well with Persistent Pain Centre North
    - Living Well with Persistent Pain Centre West
  • South Eastern NSW Primary Health Network, NSW:
    - COORDINARE Chronic Pain Management Program
  • Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network, NSW:
    - Nepean Blue Mountains PHN Community Chronic Pain Management Program
  • North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network, VIC:
    - Cohealth
    - Merri Health
  • WA Primary Health Alliance, WA:
    - 360 Health + Community
    - Arche Health Chronic Pain Service
    - Black Swan Health Limited Midland
    - Black Swan Health Limited Wanneroo
  • Active+
  • Advantage South
  • APM NZ
  • Body in Motion
  • Canterbury DHB, Burwood Hospital Pain Management Centre
  • Capital and Coast DHB, Wellington Hospital
  • Futureproof Rehab
  • Habit Rehabilitation
  • Hutt Valley District Health Board
  • Integrative Pain Care
  • Nelson Nursing Service
  • Occupational Health Canterbury
  • Pain Management & Rehabilitation Services
  • Pain Rehabilitation Christchurch
  • Proactive Rehab
  • Proactive Southern Limited
  • QE Health Limited
  • Southern DHB Persistent Pain Service, Dunedin Hospital
  • Southern Rehab
  • Starship Complex Pain Service
  • Taranaki DHB Persistent Pain Service
  • TBI Health Group
  • The Auckland Regional Pain Service DHB (TARPS), Auckland Regional Hospital
  • Waikato DHB

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.

CMAC Terms of Reference (pdf)

Our team

Hilarie is the Director of ePPOC, the electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration. Her responsibilities include strategic management, and research and special projects. Prior to joining AHSRI, Hilarie worked in a variety of not-for-profit and government roles that focused on using administrative datasets in research, data linkage and outcome measurement. Hilarie has qualifications in psychology, biochemistry and a PhD in psychophysiology.

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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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Kate Cameron is an Improvement Facilitator, working primarily with ePPOC’s New Zealand members. She engages with pain management services to support their implementation and understanding of ePPOC processes, and assisting them to identify opportunities for improved patient outcomes. She has previously worked in public health, specialising in psychiatric, acquired brain injury, and geriatric populations. Kate has post-graduate qualifications in Clinical Psychology, and is currently completing a Doctor of Clinical Neuropsychology.

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Jane works as the ePPOC Improvement Facilitator for WA. Jane is a Registered Pharmacist with postgraduate training in Paediatric Pharmacy and has extensive experience as a clinical pharmacist in both Canada and Australia with a particular interest in palliative care. Jane has worked across a range of settings including public and private hospitals, community pharmacy, Medicare Australia and most recently as a research coordinator for a tertiary persistent pain service.

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Janelle works as an ePPOC Improvement Facilitator. Janelle is a Registered Nurse and Intensive/Extended Care Paramedic with extensive experience in healthcare in community settings, particularly in chronic, complex and integrated care. Janelle has qualifications in education, nursing, paramedicine, quality improvement and clinical leadership.

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As the statistician for ePPOC, Sam supports the data management, benchmarking and reporting components of the program. He has more than 10-years of experience in the areas of data development, patient outcome measurement, casemix development and health service benchmarking. Sam received his BMath(Hons) from the University of Wollongong and is currently completing a Master of Biostatistics.

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Branden joined AHSRI as an Analyst Programmer in April 2018. He received his bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering from the University of Central Florida, and has since gained experience in mobile, desktop, and web development across multiple industries and sectors. His primary role is development and support of the ePPOC software program epiCentre and PCOC software program palCentre. 

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Sarah is the Administration Officer of ePPOC, the electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration. She liaises with, provides administrative support to, and works collaboratively with the ePPOC team and pain management services. Prior to joining AHSRI, Sarah has worked in administration, account management, foreign exchange and education. Sarah has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and English Literatures.

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