Communicare to generate electronic discharge summaries

Community healthcare software specialist Communicare eHealth Solutions will add the ability to generate CDA electronic discharge summaries in the next release of its program.

Communicare's operations manager, Heidi Tudehope, said the company had already integrated the ability to receive CDA discharge summaries into its software, but as it is also used by the tertiary sector, hospitals will now be able to produce them as well.

Communicare is predominantly used in the community and Aboriginal healthcare sectors throughout Australia but also by a number of hospitals in Western Australia. Discharge summaries will be able to be uploaded to the My eHealth Record (MeHR), which is managed by the Northern Territory Department of Health and has been deployed to communities in WA and SA.

Ms Tudehope said WA hospitals are already uploading discharge information to the MeHR, and they will now be able to send electronic discharge summaries to other organisations as well. Discharge summaries will be able to be sent to the PCEHR when its B2B interface has been conformance tested, she said.

In addition to the MeHR, hospitals will be able to send discharge summaries to any service that can receive CDA documents, not just those using Communicare, she said.

Communicare and parent company DCA first trialled the transmission of secure discharge summaries from Alice Springs Hospital to the Ampilatwatja Health Service in April, using NEHTA's secure messaging delivery (SMD) standard, which has been integrated into DCA's Argus messaging service.

Ms Tudehope said Communicare had also enhanced its documents and results section, which was formerly called the In-tray, as well as developing a completely new user interface.

The enhancements to documents and results will allow users to track whether a message has been sent from within Communicare, rather than having to open up a mail client like Argus.

“You can see visually whether a document has been actually sent or whether it has received an acknowledgement,” she said. “You have always been able to see that through a program like Argus but now we've built the tracking area in Communicare and you can view a message's tracking ID from there. You'll have that information visible from a particular screen without having to close it down and go to a mail client.

“We felt was really important because a lot of users aren't even aware that there is a secure messaging product even involved. A clinician sitting at a desktop just hits a button and they might not even be aware of what Argus is.

“If there is an error, you can actually see a helpdesk number, so Communicare will tell you to report this error to Argus and tell you the phone number and it will give you a tracking ID number. It's a lot safer as well and it introduces confidence that a message or document has actually come or gone.”

Communicare's founder and managing director, Brian Dunstan, said version 12.3 will also feature a remodelled user interface in line with current best practice interface design, taking advantage of Windows Themes and the capabilities of current hardware.

“The design change is not so radical as to present a challenge to users accustomed to the old interface, but all users will appreciate the new easier to use buttons and the pleasantly coloured design,” he said. “New users in particular will find it easier to get to work with Communicare’s more intuitive interface.”

Version 12.3 will also include enhancements to electronic claims administration. Ms Tudehope said. “We've put in a lot of handy sections that allow you to record claims admin so you can keep track of where your claims are up to. We've added some extra functionality into that area and we've allowed users to be able to tell at a glance where the claim is or whether the Medicare card is invalid, for example.

“We have also made some of our existing functions a lot more explicit. When you go into a patient's record, before we had buttons that are pretty much under your nose but what we have done is group them into what we hope is a more intuitive look or workflow.”

Version 12.3 will be available in a beta version from August 17, she said.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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