23 April 2015

Hutt Valley patients to benefit from new online health record

From April 2015, authorised Hutt Hospital clinical staff will be able to view a summary of the health information held by their patient’s GP.

The new online access to the Shared Care Record means health providers can safely and easily access a summary of patient information through a secure connection. Information can only be accessed by authorised health professionals and access is audited to maintain confidentiality.

“The Shared Care Record will be a huge benefit to both patients and health professionals,” says Dr Sisira Jayathissa, acting Chief Medical Officer for Hutt Valley and Wairarapa District Health Boards.

Hutt Hospital’s Clinical Head of Emergency Department, Dr Richard Makower is also positive about the benefits of the new system. 

“Health providers often need to share information about patients. Traditionally we’ve done this on paper or by phone, but paper is too slow, and colleagues may not be available to talk in the middle of the night.”

Online 24 hour access to on-screen summaries from General Practice will be a huge improvement in clinical safety.

“For example, if an elderly patient suddenly goes into hospital, the hospital doctors can get a more complete view of that person’s general practice records quickly and without interrupting the GP. The ability to electronically share information will help improve the whole system. It makes information sharing and subsequent care more timely, safe and efficient,” says Dr Makower.

The software being used is a New Zealand-built product called ManageMyHealth™, and has been used in other parts of the country, including the Wairarapa for several years. It enables authorised health providers to easily access a summary of patient information through a secure web-browser connection. The clinical information available includes the patients’ medication details and their diagnoses.

“It’s important to know that individual patients can “opt out” if they do not want the selected information of their primary care health record shared with hospital staff through the Shared Care Record process,” Dr Jayathissa says. “If patients do not want their health information shared in this way they can tell their general practice, write to a free-post address or free-phone 0800 SCR MMH or 0800 727 664. However, taking part in this has real benefits in terms of their care.”

The new system will provide doctors and nurses with better information in settings where patients haven’t  planned on presenting, such as emergency departments.

The system is being launched across the Hutt Valley from April 2015, with the support of General Practices in the Hutt Valley and the Primary Health Organisation, Te Awakairangi Health Network. The system has been available in the Capital and Coast region since April 2014.

19 Hutt Valley practices have implemented a Shared Care Record, which makes up 81 per cent of all Hutt Valley DHB patients.

09 September 2014

Shared Care Records Growing in the Wairarapa

The Shared Care Record is growing. It is currently in place for adult patients from Masterton Medical, Whaiora, Carterton Medical Centre, Martinborough Health Centre, Featherston Medical Centre and Greytown Medical Centre.

From 1 October, children and young people under 18 will also have their GP information available on the Shared Care Record.

Children were originally excluded from the Shared Care Record as there were concerns about patients in unsafe situations at home being coerced into revealing their access to their patient portal record. The software has now changed and ManageMyHealth now differentiates between the Shared Care Record and the patient portal, meaning children can have a Shared Care Record without having to have a Patient Portal.

This has alleviated the need for this rule in the MidCentral and Capital & Coast implementation and will now be employed in the Wairarapa to standardise the 3 DHBs records.

From 1 October, the Shared Care Record will also include lab results and discharge summaries. This will be available to all Shared Care Record users in general practice and afterhours but will not be available to the Emergency department, Hospital or Community Pharmacy.

We will be informing patients of these changes in the local newspapers over the next month and will be reiterating the fact that all patients can opt out of the SCR at any time.  Parents are entitled to opt out their children (under 18) but the SCR Administrator may phone their enrolled practice to confirm the relationship before confirming the opt out.

If patients do not wish any other health providers to have access to their Shared Care Record, they can opt-out by calling us on 0800 727 664 or sending a letter to the freepost address below:

Freepost Authority Shared Care Record
PO Box 27380,
Marion Square,
Wellington 6141. (No stamp required)

04 April 2014

New online health record a big step forward for patients in Wellington Region

From 7 April 2014, health record summaries from General Practices will be immediately available to hospital clinicians and afterhours GPs, as a new system for accessing primary care health records online is launched in Wellington, Porirua and the Kapiti Coast.

The Shared Care Record enables health providers to safely and easily access a summary record of patient information through a secure connection via ManageMyHealth™. Information can only be accessed by authorised health professionals and is kept safe and confidential.

"The Shared Care Record will be a huge benefit to both patients and health professionals," says Capital and Coast DHB Chief Executive Debbie Chin. "It’s a big step forward for the region and means that when Capital and Coast patients are unwell, an up-to-date summary of their health history will be available to the hospital clinical staff that are treating them."

Wellington GP Richard Medlicott is equally positive about the benefits for patients of the new system. "Often health providers need to have access to shared information about patients," he says. "For example, if an elderly patient suddenly goes into hospital at night, the hospital doctors can get a more complete view of that person’s general practice records and easily see what medication they are taking and if there are any recent test results, so having access makes it much quicker and easier to treat someone."

Capital and Coast’s Clinical Director for Corporate & Clinical Support Services, Peter Hicks, says while clinical information is already shared using paper systems, it is not always available when it is most useful. "With the Shared Care Record hospital clinicians will be able to see a patient’s information through a link in the individual patient’s on-screen record. The clinical information available will make a real difference to the quality and safety of the care delivered."

For any patients who do not want their health information shared in this way they can free phone 0800 727 664, write to a free-post address or tell their general practice they want to "opt out". "However, people need to know that taking part in this shared system has real benefits in terms of their care and will provide doctors and nurses with better information in settings where patients haven’t planned on presenting, such as emergency departments," says Richard Medlicott.

Capital and Coast and the Primary Health Organisations, including Compass Health, Well Health, Ora Toa Health Services and Cosine Primary Care Network, see the Shared Care Record as a significant improvement for patient care.

   

12 August 2013

South Wairarapa Practices join Shared Care Record project

Patients at Greytown and Featherston Medical Centres can now reap the benefits of the regional Shared Care Record project. This means that if they arrive in the Wairarapa Hospital Emergency department or need to seek out of hours medical services at another practice, the clinicians can see a summary of their GP medical notes.  This reduces risk for patients and helps clinicians to treat patients faster and more confidently.

95% of patients in the Wairarapa now have a ‘shared care record’.  Carterton, Whaiora, Martinborough and Masterton Medical Centres have been taking part in this project since it was launched in 2011.  Both patients and clinicians report benefits in having health information available in after hours or hospital health care settings.  Registered Community Pharmacists have recently been given access to the system, as a further quality and safety measure when discussing and dispensing medicines.

‘We are really pleased to see two more general practices joining the Shared Care Record project along with the recent inclusion of Community Pharmacy,” says Chris Kerr, Clinical Director for Compass Health. “This increased participation provides more opportunities for health professionals to provide highly co-ordinated care for all patients. We are often getting feedback that patients are being treated more quickly because of the easy access by their doctors and nurses to this information.”

Only registered health professionals have access to the Shared Care Record and only for the purpose of caring for a patient.  Patients at participating practices can choose ‘opt out’ of the project at any time.  If anyone would like more information about this project or they would like to opt out of having a shared record they can phone 0800 727 664.

20 June 2013

Wairarapa Shared Health Information to Be Available to Community Pharmacy

Pharmacists working in the community will soon be able to access vital parts of patient shared health records from general practice. The aim of this project is to help health professionals collaborate more efficiently around patient health information providing better, sooner and more convenient services to them. The project has already seen multiple benefits for patients in hospital services in the Wairarapa.

Giving community pharmacists access to the shared care record will enable them to make use of information on patient’s medications, long term conditions and allergies. This information is traditionally stored in general practice.  Pharmacists will be able to view a complete picture of a patient’s medication requirements and history, simply and quickly while the patient is being served. Patients, particularly those on numerous or complex medications may find it faster to get their medications from pharmacies with the new system.

“The addition of community pharmacy to the health care professionals accessing the Shared Care Record is a great example of how pharmacists can be integrated into the primary care team,” says Chris Kerr the Clinical Director for Compass Health. 

Health professionals, who have helped drive this change, have praised the benefits of the new on-line information. ED doctors have found it invaluable when treating patients who are too sick or injured to give details of their allergies or current medications; GPs have found it saves time and decreases the number of repeat visits for patients being seen in, or transferring to another practice.

“The most useful information we need to share is about allergies, chronic medical conditions, and long term medications.”, says Dr Hooper, “There are many circumstances when a person can’t tell us that, or not in a timely way. I really support this as a way of reducing risk for patients, and improving the quality of the care we can provide.”

Within a community pharmacy only registered Pharmacists will have access to the Shared Care Record and only for the purpose of directly caring for a patient. Patients with wider concerns about their record being shared can ‘opt out’ of the having a record at any time.  If anyone would like more information about this project or they would like to opt out of having a shared record they can phone 0800 727 664.