Practices can sign known customers up to PCEHR

General practices can now assist patients to register for a PCEHR at the point of care, following the release of software that allows “known customers” of the practice to bypass the requirement for the patient to register online or by phone.

An explanation of the assisted registration process and a downloadable Assisted Registration Tool, which the Department of Health and Ageing says was designed by the national infrastructure operator Accenture, are now on the ehealth.gov.au website.

Previously, patients had to register for the service themselves, although some Medicare Locals are working with practices to explain the PCEHR to patients and encourage them to take part in the system.

There have been calls for an assisted registration process in the past, with some saying it would make sense for a family doctor, who knows the patient and can verify their identity, to register the patient at the practice level.

Practices can now either assert the identity of the patient as a known customer of the organisation, or they can run a 100-point documentary identity check.

According to the website, the assisted registration capability is for practices that have registered both for an HPI-O and to take part in the PCEHR. However, Pulse+IT understands that many practices are still waiting for their NASH certificates from Medicare and can't yet fully access the system.

Once they are able, practices can use the assisted registration tool to assert the patient's identity and submit their details directly to the PCEHR.

“If successful, the patient will be registered almost immediately and you can upload clinical information to their record straight away,” the website states.

“You can offer assisted registration to a person who is 14 years or older. You cannot offer assisted registration to any adult who does not have capacity or who is acting on behalf of an adult in their care.”

The software will allow the practice to connect directly to the System Operator to register the patient. It will also send a message back to the practice that the registration has been successful.

An identity verification code (IVC) is then either SMSed or emailed to the patient or sent to the practice for it to print out, along with instructions on how to access the PCEHR from home.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Ageing said software vendors will be building this function into their products over the next few months.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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