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Primary care is facing many challenges in the 21st century. Not least are the complexities of managing multiple conditions in patients who span the primary/secondary care interface, maintaining evidence-based practice in terms of diagnosis and referral; and making sure that patients receive appropriate and safe medicines.

The HRB Centre for Primary Care Research (CPCR) aims to establish standards for the quality of care of vulnerable patient groups, namely older adults, children, drug users and pregnant women, with a particular emphasis on effective medicine monitoring (work package 1). Evidence-based diagnoses are also a priority for the Centre (work package 2). A register of clinical prediction rules (CPRs) has been established, in conjunction with systematic reviews of common clinical conditions in relation to the diagnostic accuracy of symptoms, signs and diagnostic tests available to GPs. Finally, based on the observational epidemiological research concerning quality of care and medicines management, as well as the CPR register, work package 3 involves the development and evaluation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) interventions in the form of computer-based clinical decisions support systems (CDSSs), decision aids and self-management programmes.