COVID-19 resources: general practices

Intrahealth Virtual Care

Practice management software vendor Intrahealth has added a fully integrated telemedicine module into its system as part of its Virtual Care initiative, promising a wholly integrated video experience within existing workflows for clinicians.

Intrahealth is using the Vonage cloud communications platform for the video-streaming service, which uses WebRTC standards, although the platform is open and can work with other vendor products.

The telehealth platform includes native integration with the Profile PMS, along with Intrahealth's Accession patient portal and Aero mobile app.

Intrahealth says it has postponed its technology roadmap to roll out the telehealth platform to help users with the pandemic.

Intrahealth's Virtual Care website

COVID-19 CDM response guide

Software vendor Precedence Health Care has partnered with training provider CDM Plus to develop a three-step guide to managing patients with chronic disease during the pandemic.

The guide explains how to identify patients at risk using Precedence's risk stratification tool, how to prioritise the type of care using specific care categories, and how to manage patients correctly and efficiently.

CDM response guide

Risk stratification tool

Precedence Health Care has made the Risk Stratification Tool (RST) it developed for the Health Care Homes trial available to all general practices using its Inca shared care platform, formerly known as cdmNet. The tool uses an algorithm developed in conjunction with the CSIRO to categorise patients based on their health conditions.

Precedence says the tool can be used by practices to identity patients who are at risk of hospitalisation within the next 12 months. They can then use this list to initiate telehealth consultations with patients who have chronic and complex conditions.

It can be used in conjunction with Inca to allow GPs to develop care plans, along with an up-to-date and relevant health summary, current medications and results, that they can share with the wider care team. All members of the team can then upload documents, reports, progress notes and share expertise where applicable.

Inca is integrated with Best Practice, MedicalDirector, Zedmed, Medtech32 and Evolution, and Communicare.

Precedence website

Snug Health

Snug Health has added a COVID-19 tile to its Snug personal health record app, providing users with information on the pandemic from their local health departments. The tile also has healthdirect's Symptom Checker embedded, a section to record body temperature and a symptoms diary that users can fill out daily and export to their GP or healthcare provider.

The app also has a direct link to Johns Hopkins University's coronavirus global dashboard, which keeps real-time data on the outbreak, including numbers of people infected worldwide and number of deaths.

Snug is integrated with medical devices such as blood pressure and blood glucose monitors, has direct access to Apple Health and Google Fit, and members of health funds using the app can help patients link to their My Health Record.

Snug Health site

Cubiko Assist

Medical practice business analytics platform Cubiko has released a free version of its practice intelligence software to help practices continue patient care and manage the business effects of COVID-19.

General practices are reporting that revenue is collapsing as patients stay at home as well as reduced income due to bulk billing arrangements for telehealth. The company's Cubiko Assist platform is aimed at helping practices to identify and continue treating patients with high care needs to prevent them presenting to hospital.

Cubiko says it is able to provide insights that equip practices to make the best use of available staff and resources, identify the effect on billing of telehealth appointments, and ensure coverage for upcoming appointments despite changes in doctors’ availability due to being quarantined or homeschooling children.

Cubiko Assist is integrated with Best Practice and current users of Cubiko have access to the new metrics now. Practices that don't use Cubiko can use Cubiko Assist for free for the next six months.

Cubiko Assist website


Users of Best Practice Premier can pre-screen patients for COVID-19 using the BetterConsult tool, which issues a digital questionnaire. BetterConsult is part of the Bp Premier subscription and comes at no extra cost. Practices can activate the software by calling HealthShare on 1300 787 522 or booking a time for HealthShare to call and talk the practice through the installation and how to use it.

BetterConsult website


ISA Healthcare Solutions has rolled out changes to the care planning tool in its MMEx web-based electronic medical record to support several of its customers who are involved in setting up COVID-19 fever clinics.

The tool allows for new treatment protocols to be applied rapidly to MMEx's patient records and facilitates both standardised data entry and accurate reporting. The changes are also broadly applicable to general practice, ISA says.

As a centrally hosted service, MMEx is updated with the latest MBS codes from the Department of Health as soon as they become available, allowing users immediate access to the new COVID-19 telehealth codes.

ISA has also updated the MMEx reference section to include official resources relating to the COVID-19 outbreak so users have easy access to this information while they are performing their clinical work.

Other changes include new templates for making diagnostic tests and a standardised notification of a suspected case of COVID-19 to the relevant authorities.

MMEx website

GoShare Plus

General practices can now send interactive and up to date COVID-19 information packages to high-risk patients using SMS tool GoShare Plus.

Practices can access the COVID-19 content bundles via GoShare Plus in Pen CS's CAT4, use the COVID-19 recipe that identifies high-risk patients (e.g. patients with a chronic disease or over the age of 70), and send to a list of patients via SMS.

GoShare Plus brings together CAT4’s data extraction functionality and GoShare’s patient education bundling functionality enabling GPs to send credible and approved health information via SMS to patient lists.

GoShare developer Healthily has developed two interactive communication packages that incorporate World Health Organisation and Australian Department of Health guidelines. The two packages – ‘COVID-19 Prevention’ and ‘What to do if you have symptoms’ – are kept up to date and have undergone consumer review.

Example of COVID-19 SMS

GoShare Plus website

Pen CS

Pen CS has released a number of COVID-19 resources for general practices, including its COVID-19 Disease Tracker, which shows COVID-19 presentations in general practice Australia-wide. The disease tracker complements the COVID-19 app released last month for use with Pen's Topbar.

The disease tracker shows real-time presentations of individuals presenting in the practice with diagnosed conditions including COVID-19, asthma, COPD and diabetes.

Pen CS has also released a general practice COVID-19 report and a PHN COVID-19 disease prevalence report showing hot spots of positive presentations.

It has also launched a consumer outreach messaging platform that includes SMS and voicemail messaging for sending targeted information to consumers. It can be used to issue quarantine updates, shutdown news, healthcare advice and guidance and supermarket shopping hours.

Pen CS website


Data insight software firm Cubiko has added a COVID-19 dashboard to its platform, which is able to draw data from across clinical practice management, accounting and staff rostering systems to produce customised dashboards for practice owners, practice managers, doctors, nurses and receptionists.

Dashboard items include revenue per hour, appointments per hour, bulk billing rates, room utilisation, and recalls and reminders.

The company also plans to release new features to help manage telehealth consultations, manage the diaries of absent staff, maximise room space and check in on vulnerable patients.

Cubiko is integrated with Best Practice Software.

Cubiko website


Pregnant women with gestational diabetes are being encouraged to self-isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic and are one of the groups eligible for the new MBS items for remote care by telehealth. Technology firm Net-Health has been working with Caloundra Health Service in Queensland to provide remote monitoring of women with gestational diabetes, using its Net-HealthData platform to track their clinical signs.

Patients use common bluetooth-enabled blood glucose monitors such as LifeSmart or Accu-chek and their associated apps, with the data collected and sent to Net-HealthData's platform. Algorithms are set for each patient within Net-Health based on their individual profile, so if their readings fluctuate, an alert is sent to the doctor or nurse monitoring them. The doctor can intervene by sending a message through Net-HealthData to tell the patient to change their dosage, or if necessary they can do a telephone or video consultation through the platform.

Patients are not able to message back but they are told that if they want to talk to their clinician to call them. Patients whose signs are normal can continue to self-manage.

With the new MBS items, general practices can set up similar clinics for patients with other chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and for pulmonary rehabilitation. The clinic just needs to ensure a practice nurse is monitoring the Net-HealthData inbox. The platform is integrated with Best Practice and MedicalDirector.

Net-HealthData website


Shared care management and remote monitoring platform CareMonitor has added a COIVD-19-specific pathway that enables practices to remotely manage patients with the virus.

The system allows the clinical team to push out specific assessments (PROMs and PREMs) such as how severe is your cough and do you have runny nose. It also lets users set specific target values for various health metrics such as temperature to measure fever severity, and educational content to the patient via the CareMonitor mobile app.

CareMonitor has built over 40 care pathways to manage people with complex and chronic conditions. It can be used by hospitals or general practices regardless of the practice management system they are using to do telehealth consultations and remotely monitor patients.

However, if practices use Pen CS's Topbar, then CareMonitor can seamlessly link into Best Practice, MedicalDirector and Zedmed.

Data can be automatically synchronised from bluetooth-enabled devices such as thermometers, blood pressure monitors and pulse oximeters. All of this information is collated in real time to provide healthcare practitioners with a population level view so that they can target at risk patients.

CareMonitor website


Cloud-based practice management system vendor MediRecords has added a COVID-19 Case Definition form that can be accessed from the MediRecords clinical consultation screen in the same way a doctor would access a general examination form. The data captured is recorded in the consultation notes and is clinically coded to SNOMED-CT-AU using its clinical terminology server OntoServer.

MediRecords says that over the next few days, it plans to add a number of action buttons to the bottom of this form which will automatically create follow up actions and automate diagnostic test ordering processes.

MediRecords has also updated its diagnostic test ordering and clinical findings capabilities, and has uploaded patient education fact sheets. The new MBS item numbers were made available when they were first released last Friday.

For telehealth consultations, MediRecords is fully integrated with Coviu and appointments managed in MediRecords are synced with Coviu. Other capabilities include email and SMS reminders to support two-way appointment management and 'Add to Calendar' functions with direct links to the virtual consult in all communications to the patient.

MediRecords also has a patient mobile app that allows patients to receive pathology request forms, medications and results remotely without having to go into the practice.

MediRecords website

Posted in Australian eHealth

Tags: COVID-19

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