Integrated photos and email added to AutumnCare

Aged care software vendor AutumnCare has released version 4.4 of its enterprise-grade product, adding enhanced camera support technology that allows photos to be embedded within the resident's file and a one-click email or messaging function complete with a full audit trail.

AutumnCare’s software encompasses residential care, respite care, home care, medication administration and eHealth and provides what managing director Stuart Hope says is a seamless single client record across the continuum of care.

New features in version 4.4 include a way to take a photo using any Windows-based device that allows the photo to be added to the patient's record, including photos of wounds that can be directly embedded into the wound management assessment form.

Mr Hope said his team has redesigned the software so that it cannot only talk to Intel's medical-grade tablet PC architecture but to any Windows-based device that has cameras, and which allows photos to be taken and embedded directly to the patient record.

“One of the problems that people have had with things like wound photos is that they use a camera and then add it to a file server, but they can't remember which photo belongs to which resident,” Mr Hope said. “With this function, it is directly embedded into the wound management assessment form, which is part of the resident's record.

“You can use it on virtually any device and you can also use it if you are just taking photos of residents' valuables or their glasses.”

AutumnCare has also added the ability to send full emails from within the software, which the company has avoided allowing in the past due to privacy reasons.

“It's a problematic area because once you send an email out you lose control, so we've devised a number of methods to do this,” Mr Hope said. “We allow our clients to define authorised email addresses that can be sent to, such as GPs or pharmacists, or they can configure it to send to anyone. We can also track the return emails so you can have emailing from within AutumnCare but with an audit trail.”

Users can also send a message to other staff directly from a case note, aimed at streamlining communication and improving productivity. “If you create a new case note saying 'Showered Mrs Jones and noticed skin tear on left arm', and you want to mark that for handover and send it immediately to the RN, you just have to tick two boxes,” Mr Hope said.

“This saves double handling, consistent information is assured, immediate communication, ensures follow up and audit trails are created, all by ticking a two boxes.”

A considerable amount of work has been conducted in the past year or so on ensuring AutumnCare's Home Care add-in can deal with consumer-directed care (CDC) and the different reporting structures that are now coming into force.

AutumnCare, which is a member of NEHTA's aged care software vendors panel, has passed all of its NOC and CCA tests for linking to the PCEHR. However, the company's plans to begin testing the new functionality in a pilot site have stalled after the particular provider chose to put its PCEHR activities on hold.

The company is currently working on integrating assisted registration functionality, and while the aged care-specific transfer summary that Mr Hope has personally championed is not yet on the table for addition to the PCEHR, he will continue to push for it.

The transfer document would be designed to accompany a patient from residential aged care into acute care and back to the RACF and is aimed at providing acute care clinicians as well as ambulance officers with a summary of the resident's current medications and demographics but also their special care needs and all transfer information.

“Hopefully we'll get that transfer document going in the future,” Mr Hope said. “This is the sort of work we wanted to do with our pilot sites. We want to show them what the value of it is even if the providers aren't given any funding for it.”

Advance care planning is high on the eHealth agenda, and Mr Hope said his company has looked at those needs for a number of years. There is a function within AutumnCare to record that the resident has an advance care plan and to scan it in and attach it to the resident's record, but a purely electronic function is a long way off, he said.

“What we've found is that each state is different and they are logically incompatible,” he said. “We would certainly welcome standardised national legislation on advance care planning but I think it will take some time because each state government has to make its own legislation, and I'm sure each one will make it slightly different.

“Standardising it should be easy but it's the accompanying legislation that will be problematic.”

The company has already started work on version 4.5, which is expected to be released in January next year as part of its six-monthly release cycle and ongoing development pathway.

Posted in Aged Care

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