eHealth- Digital health Records

What is eHealth?

eHealth is an umbrella term that includes all health related activities that involve the use of information and communication technology. This includes the electronic collection, management, use, storage and sharing of health care information. 
ehealth in primary health care can include the following – 

Information systems 

Electronic data management - storage and management, Electronic health records (My Health Record) for local GP and shared systems and secure messaging between healthcare providers. 

Telehealth 

Telehealth aims to remove some of the barriers to accessing medical services for people that have difficulty getting to a specialist or live in rural and remote areas. It can include home monitoring, telecare, video consultations and telephone triage.

Knowledge resources

Ehealth includes using knowledge resources such as online advice and health websites. This includes APNA’s online learning, HealthShare, GoShare Health Care, Real Time Health, Whitecoat Patient and in practice education screens eg Tonic & Medical Schallen. 

Sharing electronically

One of the benefits of ehealth is the opportunity to share information with other registered providers. This includes ePrescribing, secure messaging and My Health Record. 

Benefits of information management 

  • More consistent and better quality patient care 
  • Reduction in likelihood of errors
  • Improved communication
  • Improved access to care
  • Improved access to information
  • Improved access to clinical decision making 
  • Acceptable for patients 
  • Reduced costs 

Good data in = good information out 

Nurses are key to ensuring that practices capture information systematically, rather than opportunistically. It is important that nurses review and cleanse the database regularly; correct and complete coding of diagnoses and medications; use clinical recording tools eg BP, weight and height; clean up search lists; ask to receive your pathology results in HL7 format and the ongoing review of the patients’ health summary. NB Accreditation requires that practices meet the following requirements- 

  • 90% of active patients to have allergy status recorded on their health summary
  • 75% of patients to have up to date health summaries
  • Record ATSI status 

What is My Health Record?

My Health Record is a means for all Australians important health information like allergies, current conditions and treatments, medicine details, pathology reports or diagnostic imaging scan reports can be digitally stored in one place. Healthcare providers including doctors, specialists and hospital staff can see these details online from anywhere at any time when they need to, such as in an accident or emergency.

The My Health Record is:

  1. A summary of an Individuals key health information that can be shared securely online between the individual and their healthcare providers. 
  2. My Health Record travels with the individual wherever they may be and no matter who they are seeing – it is part of a national system that traverses geographic and health sector boundaries
  3. It is personally controlled – the individual has a say in what gets uploaded, what stays in their record and who can see their record.
  4. My Health Record is accessible at all times when it is needed, included at the point of care, and can be viewed and added to by  the individual, their representative(s) and registered healthcare providers involved in their care.
  5. It has bank strength security and information in it is protected by law. 

Only identified and authorised healthcare professionals can upload clinical information to a patient’s eHealth record, ensuring it is clinically relevant and as accurate as possible.

For further information on My Health Record visit [www.myhealthrecord.gov.au] where you will find details on: What is a My Health Record; Getting a My Health record; Managing your My Health Record; Managing access, privacy and security and a section just for Health care Professionals. 

Additional resources including an online training portal (the sand pit) can be found at [www.digitalhealth.gov.au]. Log in anytime and practice on a ‘test’ patient. 

What can you do next?

  1. Contact AHPRA and ask for your HPI-I. Give this to your Practice Manager.
  2. Do the (free) eLearning modules on the My Health Record system
  3. Download the ‘guides’ for your software 
  4. Watch the software demonstration for your software
  5. Watch our Webinars on Data Quality & Change Management:
  6. Practise in the ‘On-Demand’ Training Environment 
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