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Significant progress made in integration of My Health Record with pharmacies in Australia

Significant progress made in integration of My Health Record with pharmacies in Australia

Pharmacists can
now upload
dispense records and view hospital discharge summaries, shared
health summaries, and allergy information to My
Health Record
using enhanced Minfos,
POS Works, and RxOne software. All three provide software
solutions for pharmacies.

This is a result of close cooperation between the Australian
Digital Health Agency (the Agency) and the Medical Software Industry
Association (MSIA). It follows the launch of the Community Pharmacy Software
Industry Partnership earlier this year. (In July, a partnership
was initiated with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia

Connection to My Health Record is an important step to enabling
pharmacists to play a more integrated role in medications management and
coordinated care. Pharmacists can have timely information on a person’s current
medications, whether dispensed at hospital discharge, or through any community
pharmacy in the country.

My Health Record also provides pharmacists access to
clinically relevant information from other healthcare providers including
hospital discharge summaries, GP shared health summaries, and consumer-entered
information about over-the-counter medications and other supplements.

Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said the announcement represents an
important milestone to promote the safer use of medicine – and reduce the
estimated 230,000 hospital admissions each year due to medication errors. (Click here
for OpenGov’s recent interview with Mr. Kelsey where he talks about how the
Agency is working to create a seamlessly-connected digital healthcare system
for Australia.

“I congratulate Minfos, POS Works, and RxOne for introducing
this important capability. Pharmacists using these clinical systems will enjoy
greater access to medical information about their customers and will seamlessly
contribute important information on dispensed medicines in their customers’ My
Health Records,” Mr. Kelsey said.

Other software providers are well advanced in their
development work and are expected to integrate with My Health Record system in
the coming weeks. Mr. Kelsey said that an enormous amount of work has gone into
co-designing a solution with consumers, healthcare providers and the software
industry, leading to this milestone for software organisations who took up the Agency’s industry offer.

MSIA President Emma Hossack said programs involving private
enterprise and the government depend upon goodwill and trust.

“This project is proof of the new working relationship
between the Agency and industry. It demonstrates what can be achieved in a
relatively short time and augurs well for other jointly owned digital health
improvements,” Ms. Hossack said.

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia National (PSA) President
Shane Jackson said that conformant software is an important first step in
connecting more community pharmacy software providers to My Health Record.

Co-sponsor of the Agency’s Medications Safety Programme Dr
Steve Hambleton said that the addition of Minfos, POS Works, and RxOne to the
suite of pharmacy software that can interact with My Health Record is another
milestone in the rollout of better, safer care.

"A substantial number of community pharmacists can now
access a growing number and range of clinical documents, and they can apply
their deep pharmaceutical knowledge to maximise benefits and minimise
medication-related harm to patients,” Dr. Hambleton said.

Partnership with peak
national body representing pharmacists

On November 9, Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, announced
a partnership with the peak national body representing pharmacists, the
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA). The partnership will help increase
the number of pharmacists using My Health Record.

The PSA represents 30,000 pharmacists working in all areas
of pharmacy across the country and is ideally placed to develop and deliver
education, training, information, and communications for the pharmacy

This partnership is expected to help PSA to increase the
number of pharmacists working in all practice settings registered, able to
view, and automatically upload medicines information to My Health Record.

PSA will also review, update, and develop professional
guidelines for pharmacy practice, and implementation tools for digital health.

PSA National President Dr. Shane Jackson said, “My Health
Record will provide access to verifiable clinical information such as a shared
health summary, which is really useful when you’re sitting down with a patient
for a MedsCheck or Home Medication Review. The benefit to patients is safer and
more effective care.

“Pharmacists will be able to understand what’s happened to
the patient in hospital, what changes may have been made, and what they need to
do to follow up. My Health Record really shines a light on a patient’s health
status so you can tailor their care,” he added.

The Australian government allocated AU$374.2 million in
its 2017-18 Budget to be invested over two years, for the nationwide rollout of an opt-out model of My Health Record and to ensure every
Australian is a part of it, unless they choose not
to be.  Large private sector medical service
providers continue to join My Health Record. The Agency is also working
with clinical information systems (CIS) vendors to develop nationally-scalable,
secure electronic messaging between healthcare providers.

Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said that 5.2 million Australians
already have a My Health Record and 12.8 million prescription and dispense
records have been uploaded to the system. 

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