The strategic director of PRIMIS + has said that the organisation is looking to add value to its CHART audit software, in order to enhance benefits for primary care trusts.

Speaking at the annual PRIMIS + conference in Nottingham, Professor Mike Pringle acknowledged that CHART is “clunky” and said that it is “very keen” to enter into dialogue with the NHS in order to develop the service.

PRIMIS+ was set up in April 2002 as a free training and support service to help GPs and their staff to improve patient care, using the data in their clinical computer systems.

It expanded in 2005, following the award of a four year contract by NHS Connecting for Health, and now focuses on data quality facilitators employed by primary care trusts and health informatics services, who “cascade” their skills to GPs and practice-based staff.

It is delivered as part of CfH’s education, training and development programme and provides training, support and resources, including the free provision of CHART.

Developed by two GPs, this software tool extracts data from practice’s clinical system using the MIQUEST interpreter. The data is then displayed in summery sheets, graphs and Excel spreadsheets with drill-down capabilities that can be customised to suit user preferences. It allows practices to look at how they are doing against a wider comparative group.

Professor Pringle told the event that Lord Darzi’s Next Stage Review of the NHS had not only shown that the health service needed information, but information that was “interpretable.”

He also said commissioners and secondary care could learn from primary care’s use of data. He said that strategic health authorities, in particular, are “flying much blinder than anyone else” and that “if they are going to have policies and direction, they need help.”

He added that PRIMIS + has got to continue to “deliver its mission” but also “develop its horizon” by listening to people and taking note of the feedback provided by facilitators.