Embedding digital health into usual care practices
Digital health provides an opportunity to deliver health care closer to a consumer's family and home, reducing waiting time, travel time, expenses and anxiety. We are preparing an Action Plan: Digital Health Adoption focusing on embedding digital health into usual care practices and overcoming barriers, so the digital divide does not disadvantage those with limited access to technology.
Improving digital health
The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) eHealth Incentive encourages practices to keep up to date with digital health developments, find out how to comply.
We assist primary care to make meaningful use of digital health and adopt new technology. Search our stories of success to find out more about some of the initiatives we support.
Importance of telehealth
Telehealth is crucial for people in rural and regional areas, particularly those displaced by disasters such as bushfires.
Many of our commissioned services provide online or telehealth services. Search for services we fund in Aboriginal health, alcohol and other drugs, chronic conditions, end of life care, and mental health and suicide prevention.
Fast Forms referral system
Electronic referrals are available for general practices referring patients to outpatient services provided by the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, using our Fast Forms referral solution.
Fast Forms simplify the referral process and support efficient and timely triage of your patients.
Using digital health initiatives
Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (ETP) supports the safe and secure transfer of prescription information between a prescriber (doctor, specialist, dentist, optometrist, nurse practitioner etc.) and a community pharmacy using an electronic system known as a Prescription Exchange Service (PES).
Electronic Prescribing and Dispensing (eScript) provides an option for prescribers and their patients to present a QR code eScript (via email or text message) as an alternative to a paper-based prescription.
As a prescriber it is a requirement of eScripts to have conformant software and be registered with a PES.
To prepare for electronic prescribing, your prescribing practice or pharmacy may need to register or renew a NASH certificate to access Healthcare Identifiers Service. An electronic prescribing checklist is available for prescribers or pharmacy.
There are a number of benefits to using ETP & eScripts including:
- improved confidentiality and security of medication information
- better clarity and communication of prescription information
- rapid information exchange
- choice of prescription format that suits patient preference
- potential reduction in medication and dispensing errors
- potential decline in adverse drug events
- reduced prescription misuse through increased data available for future real-time monitoring.
Setting up electronic prescribing
Best Practice users can find information and download (Jade SP3 and later) updates here.
My Health Record is an online summary of an individual’s health information that can be shared securely between the patient and authorised healthcare providers involved in their care. Individuals control what goes into their My Health Record, and who can access it.
Through the My Health Record system you will access timely information about your patients such as shared health summaries, discharge summaries, prescription and dispense records, pathology and diagnostic imaging reports. It will not replace existing medical records and you will continue to take and review clinical notes.
The key benefits of the My Health Record system are:
- avoid adverse drug events
- enhanced patient self-management
- improvements in patient outcomes
- reduce time gathering information
- avoided duplication of services.
The My Health Record website has information for healthcare professionals on how to register and set-up your practice to the system, how to view and upload information, how to support consumers with questions about privacy and security, and a range of tools and training modules.
Secure messaging supports the secure point-to-point delivery of healthcare messages to a single known receiving organisation.
This electronic messaging software enables health professionals to send and receive sensitive or confidential documents such as referrals, reports, pathology and radiology requests, results and discharge summaries in a secure and encrypted environment.
Secure Messaging minimises the burden of manual and paper processes and is a timely and cost effective means for sending and receiving clinical information. Find out more here.
Telehealth removes some of the barriers to accessing medical services for Australians who have difficulty getting to a specialist, or live in rural and remote areas.
Interactive telehealth appointments are real-time communication encounters between a patient and a clinician, delivered via video conference. In this way, the patient and practitioner are able to talk, share images and information as they would in a face-to-face appointment.
These consultations may occur in the patient’s home, a general practice, residential aged care facility, Aboriginal Medical Service, consulting rooms or other settings. Access to telehealth services can reduce waiting time, travel time and expense for patients that would otherwise have to travel to see a practitioner. Allowing patients to access treatment closer to their own family and home can help to alleviate anxiety and streamline the patient journey.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Telehealth video consultations guide is designed to help practices make use of MBS-supported video consultations.
Inca (short for integrated care) is a web-based, comprehensive shared health record and care planning solution. The platform connects your patients with their healthcare team to support a multidisciplinary care approach, and COORDINARE has secured licensing for general practices across the South Eastern NSW catchment.
The Inca Integrated Care platform syncs with all major practice software to automatically populate key demographics and clinical information. Currently, Inca can be used with Best Practice, Medical Director, Communicare, Zedmed and MedTech clinical software.
Inca’s guided templates have been developed in consultation with the RACGP and include input from key advisory agencies. Inca allows you to:
- create Medicare-compliant, evidence-based GPMPs and TCAs simply and efficiently
- share plans with the care team automatically
- allocate tasks and send automatic reminders when actions need completing
- identify and produce the relevant MBS Health Assessments which then pre-populate the objectives and tasks in the care plans
- track and monitor adherence to the plan to ensure follow-up is occurring
- store all approved and shared documentation in one single and easily accessible patient record
- view information in real-time, allowing for better informed and more timely interventions, that in turn can enhance patient outcomes.
Patient engagement with their care plan is key to a plan’s success. Inca provides your patients with access to their personalised care plans where they can communicate with their care team via the web portal and enter any relevant information to keep the care team up to date. The Meditracker App gives patients another access point to view their health records and keep up to date with their metrics and health goals. Watch this video for more detail.
To take advantage of this great opportunity, please complete COORDINARE’s Service Level Agreement here and return to the Digital Health Team. You will then receive the link to Inca’s online registration.
Lumos is a partnership initiative between COORDINARE, the Southern NSW and Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health Districts, and the NSW Ministry of Health.
Lumos is an ethically approved program that securely links encoded data from general practices to other health data in NSW, including hospital, emergency department, mortality, and others. The program sheds light on the patient journey, providing insights into how your patients are interacting with the health system.