St Vincent's & Mater Health Sydney has been using assisted registration tools to sign up both inpatients and outpatients to the PCEHR since December, with an estimated 2000 patients registered so far.
St Vincent's Public Hospital has been trialling the Department of Health and Ageing's assisted registration tool (ART), developed by Accenture and recently released for general practice use. Shortly, SVH will also be doing assisted registration through the hospital's clinical information system, Emerging Systems' EHS.
Rachel Byrne, national eHealth record system project manager at St Vincents & Mater Health Sydney, said the hospital now has around 15 patients with a PCEHR coming in each week, with most of them having documents uploaded to their PCEHR, including electronic discharge summaries.
Ms Byrne said part of the trial included using different registration techniques depending on whether the individual is an inpatient or outpatient.
“In the outpatient clinics, we pull out the list of patient appointments and identify what the busy times are,” Ms Byrne said. “We then have our team members go up to those clinics.
“We have medical students and a recruitment officer who roam the campus talking to patients, explaining how the system works and signing them up.”
St Vincent's is targeting some clinics in particular, including its diabetes clinic, heart-lung clinic, immunology clinic, dialysis, geriatrics and aged care, and also the Kinghorn Cancer Centre.
For inpatients, St Vincent's uses a report that lists patients coming in under certain specialties, including elderly patients as well as readmissions, to identify those who might benefit from a PCEHR. Team members then attend the ward to speak to the patient. The approach is also underway at St Vincent's Private, she said.
St Vincent's has used a slightly different approach to that of Calvary Hospital in the ACT and the new trial soon to start at Box Hill Hospital in Victoria, which is using printed information about the eHealth records system on the patients' meal tray liners.
“We have a meal tray card, which is a small business card folded over that sits on the tray, and that has a pager number for our team,” Ms Byrne said. “The patient asks the nurse to page the recruitment team and the team will go up to the patient’s bedside and register the patient.”
Adrian Verryt, internal change and adoption manager for the PCEHR at St Vincent's, said the team ensures that staff members are informed about assisted registration and how this can be incorporated in their work.
“We want administrative and clinical staff to have the confidence to have a conversation about what PCEHR is, so we have a one-page fact sheet which broadly outlines what we are doing, why we are doing it and what the benefits are to signing up,” Mr Verryt said.
“That is information both to the patient and information to the staff member, so that at any point in time, whether we are handing it out to the patient on the ward or a staff member, we are getting the same key messages across to them.”
Ms Byrne said the Accenture ART is simply a downloadable executable which sets up an application on the desktop.
“Once you put in your HPI-O and your credential information, it sets up a connection to the PCEHR, and that is just to create the record,” she said. “That's really all it is doing – you don't see any data, you are just creating the record.
“The tool is essentially a one-page form and then the desktop application. The patients fill in the form and they sign it; it is very simple and quick to fill in. That information is entered into the tool and the record is created instantly.”
Emerging Systems has also designed an integrated tool within its software – which has been PCEHR-compliant since last year – and which enables staff to create a PCEHR for the patient from within the clinical system.
DoHA plans that GP software will also have an integrated tool in the coming months, which Emerging Systems' CEO, Russel Duncan, and his team have pioneered.
“Emerging Systems will be the first vendor to do it – consumer assisted registration within the clinical system,” Ms Byrne said. “Part of [Mr Verryt's] work now is looking at which areas of the hospital want to use that functionality and which ones want to use the assisted registration tool.”
“It makes sense in areas like bookings, admissions and preadmission clinic that they use Emerging Systems' solution,” Mr Verryt said. “It is all integrated with the administration systems they use every day and does not require double entry of patient information whereas the outpatients areas might want to use the ART.”
Ms Byrne said numbers of patients with a PCEHR had been increasing week to week since the trial began in December of last year.
“We run a report each day that pulls out all of the patients that have a record,” she said. “For the inpatients, they can have an electronic discharge summary sent up and to those that have a GP with an EDI, their discharge summary can also be sent electronically to their GP’s desktop system.
“Now that we are seeing more patients coming in with eHealth records, we are looking forward to the GPs connecting, so they too can start seeing their patient’s records via their own clinical systems and begin uploading shared health summaries.”
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