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Western Australia clinicians providing better continuity of care virtually

Western Australian healthcare providers are continuing to increase their use of My Health Record, with more than 56,000 views in October 2020. With the graph still on a steep upward trend, it is clear that clinicians are embracing My Health Record as a vital tool in providing clinical care.

The Chief Clinical Information Officer and Emergency Physician Professor stated that WA Health clinicians are demonstrating with their clicks the value of My Health Record in providing them with health information that is otherwise often difficult, if not impossible, to access by other means.

Photo: Graph depicting viewer trends for MHR
Source: Australian Digital Health Agency, Press Release

He noted that the comprehensive picture of clinical issues managed by community providers, patients’ medication usage and recent imaging and investigation results all add up to better informed and therefore safer, better quality clinical decision making.

Uploads to My Health Records in WA in October include 21,500 discharge summaries, 590,000 public and GP-referred pathology reports, 54,000 diagnostic imaging reports and 52 Goals of Care documents.

7,500 specialist letters were uploaded by WA Health in October, with this expected to have increased at least four-fold since with the uploading rolled out to other key major hospitals.

Dr John van Bockxmeer is a WA Country Health Service clinician working in the emergency department of Hedland Health Campus. Hedland is one of the three communities who are participating in the Agency’s Communities of Excellence program.

The program is a national initiative to embed digital health capabilities across targeted communities and use the learnings from these fully connected communities to create a toolkit to enable scalable replication across the country.

Dr van Bockxmeer said My Health Record is a vital part of Australia’s digital health transformation. He said that he was thrilled to see local partnerships promoting uptake in regional Western Australia. Working as a clinician at the Hedland Health Campus, he finds that My Health Record integration helps medical professionals work with patients to make the most informed decisions about their care.

The Senior Medical Officer at Hedland Health Campus stated that thanks to the town’s Community of Excellence program, the volume of data being uploaded to My Health Record had increased dramatically. This has had a commensurate effect on its utility in clinical practice and has substantially reduced the amount of time spent chasing up information, he said.

“In the rural setting, having a central repository of specialist letters, reports, medicine history and discharge summaries has proven to be invaluable in the management of many of my patients.  This is particularly the case with our itinerant clients who receive care from many providers across different districts and services. It helps to keep everyone on the same page.”

The Agency General Manager of Strategic Projects and Delivery stated that the Community of Excellence program being run in Hedland was connecting healthcare providers and consumers in a new and revolutionary way.

“From My Health Record to telehealth and electronic prescriptions, digital delivery is making a real difference in people’s lives and health outcomes,” he said. “This is the way of the future.”

WA champions healthcare tech

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the rise of digital healthcare solutions. OpenGov Asia recently reported that the new Health in a Virtual Environment (HIVE) solution was recently launched for patient monitoring innovation inside the East Metropolitan Health Service Command Centre.

The $22 million HIVE is an East Metropolitan Health Service-driven initiative that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and technology to continuously track and monitor a patient’s condition.

HIVE clinicians are alerted when a monitored patient displays early signs of clinical deterioration. Once alerted, clinicians use the patient’s information, data analytics tools and clinical systems to support and collaborate with the ward-based clinical teams using two-way audio and video to respond appropriately.

By using digital technologies to deliver safe and more efficient care, the service highlights the State Government’s ongoing commitment to providing incredible health care for all Western Australians.

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