09 November 2011

MidCentral patients to benefit from new Primary Care Shared Health Record

A new system for clinical staff to access Primary Care health records online when treating patients is to be launched in the MidCentral region over the next few weeks.

The Shared Care Health Record project will be a benefit to both patients and health professionals, and make health care safer and more effective”, said Central PHO General Manager Joe Howells.

The shared care record gives health professionals secure access to a summary of a patients’ up-to-date health information as held on their medical records in the participating general practices.

Different health providers need to have access to shared information about patients. For example, if a patient suddenly goes into hospital, the hospital Doctors using the shared care record can get a more complete view of that person’s general practice records,” said Mr Howells. “For example the treating Doctor or Nurse will be able to accurately find out the patients current medications, and any health warnings applicable”.

The shared care record allows health providers to easily access a summary record of patient information through a secure web-browser connection, using a New Zealand built product called “ManageMyHealth™”.

Only authorised health professionals will be able to access patient information which will be kept safe and confidential”, says PHO Clinical Director Chiquita Hansen. “An audit trail will be kept each time a clinician accesses a patients records, enabling retrospective review if required”.

This new system will provide doctors and nurses with better information in settings where patients haven’t planned on presenting such as at general practices after hours, City Doctors or Radius Accident and Medical Centres or at the MidCentral Hospital Emergency Department,” says Ms Hansen.

If patients do not want their health information shared in this way they can choose to opt-out of the system by either telling their general practice, writing to a free-post address or ringing a free-phone number (0800 SCR MMH or 0800 727 664).  Patients can find out if their practice is participating in the project by ringing the same free phone number, or contacting their practice directly.

The system is being launched in participating practices in the MidCentral district in December 2011 followed by a roll out throughout the district early next year. This follows a successful launch of the shared care record in the Wairarapa earlier this year. The system will also be implemented in the Capital and Coast DHB region next year

The initial participating practices for MidCentral include the Tararua Health Group, Horowhenua Community Practice and Otaki Medical centre, covering 30,000 people. This will be followed later by practices in Palmerston North, the remainder of Horowhenua and Feilding Practices early next year.

09 November 2011

Shared Care Record rollout already proving its worth.

Phase 1 of the roll-out of the ‘Shared Care Record’ – a way of electronically sharing vital health information among Health professionals in the Wairarapa – was completed last week, and already has already reduced risks for patients and saved hours of work.

“Within the first two days I had used the system half a dozen times,” says GP Annie Lincoln. “I was working at Whaiora and seeing new patients. Normally it takes time and phone calls to access their previous clinical notes, but with the Shared Care Record, all I had to do was log on and information on the patient’s diagnosis, current medications, and allergy status was immediately available.”

In one instance, a new patient informed Dr Lincoln that she was on eight medications and had allergies to several others, but could not recall the names of either the current medications or the ones to which she was allergic. “It was a real relief to have access to the Shared Care Record,” said Dr Lincoln. “Not only could I be confident I was not prescribing something that would cause known harm, but the patient avoided a potentially long wait for me to be able to access the information I needed, and consequently, the next patient avoided an unnecessary wait too.”

The software being used for the Shared Care Record is a New Zealand-built product which enables health providers to easily access a summary record of patient information through a secure web-browser connection. Only authorised health professionals can access the information. The scheme is being rolled out in the Wairarapa, with Whaiora, Masterton Medical, Carterton and Martinborough General Practices, covering 80% of the population, now all ‘on-line’. Access from the Emergency Department of Wairarapa Hospital is planned for later this month.

“Taking part in this scheme has very real benefits in terms of safety and patient care, and best use of everyone’s time,” says Wairarapa DHB Chief Medical Officer Dr Alan Shirley. “However, 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. If they 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.”

The system is being rolled out across the Wairarapa, in conjunction with other local PHOs within the Capital and Coast and MidCentral health districts in the coming months.

30 September 2011

Wairarapa patients to benefit from new online health record

The Shared Care Record will be a huge benefit to both patients and health professionals says Wairarapa DHB Chief Executive Tracey Adamson. Its a big step forward for the region. What this means is that when Wairarapa patients are unwell, an up-to-date summary of their health history will be available to the clinical staff who are treating them. We are committed to the roll-out of the Shared Care Record to all patients and medical practices in the Wairarapa.

Wairarapa Community PHO Board Chair Elaine Brazendale is equally positive about the benefits of the new system. "Often health providers need to have access to shared information about patients" she says. 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 as soon as possible. The ability to electronically share information will help improve the whole system. It will make both information sharing and subsequent care more timely, efficient and safe.

The software being used is a New Zealand-built product called ManageMyHealth™ which enables health providers to easily access a summary record of patient information through a secure web-browser connection. "Only authorised health professionals can access the information which will be kept safe and confidential", says Ms Brazendale.

"Clinical information is already shared using paper systems, but this is not always available when it is most useful" says Wairarapa DHBs Chief Medical Officer Alan Shirley. With the Shared Care Record hospital clinicians will be able to see a patient's information through a link in the individual patient on-screen record. The clinical information available will be limited to 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,” says Mr Shirley. “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.

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

The DHB, the PHO and Compass Health (who have managed the project) see this as a significant improvement for patient care,” says Tracey Adamson. “We anticipate that eventually all patients and primary care practices will participate in this progressive initiative.

The system is being rolled out across the Wairarapa, in conjunction with other local PHOs within the Capital and Coast and MidCentral health districts later this year.