Public hospitals uploading discharge summaries to PCEHR

The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) has compiled a list of public hospitals in Australia that are capable of submitting discharge summaries to the PCEHR.

Almost 200 hospitals are listed, all but one of which are from Queensland, NSW and South Australia.

In Queensland, which allows its hospital clinicians to view a patient's PCEHR through its Viewer portal, the vast bulk of hospitals now have the capability, including tertiary hospitals such as Princess Alexandra, Royal Brisbane Women's and Children's and Gold Coast, as well as large regional hospitals such as Toowoomba, Cairns and Townsville and most of the smaller regional hospitals.

Queensland has for some years had a locally organised capability to send discharge summaries directly to the referring GP through secure messaging.

In NSW, those hospitals that pioneered PCEHR discharge summaries in western Sydney and the Nepean-Blue Mountains area are listed, along with the children's hospitals at Westmead and Randwick, other large hospitals on the Randwick campus including Prince of Wales and the Royal Hospital for Women, St George Hospital and several in the Illawarra Shoalhaven region, including Wollongong Hospital.

Sydney's St Vincent's Public Hospital, which has had the ability since 2012 and was the first to achieve the result, seems to have been left off the list, as has Calvary Hospital in the ACT.

Canberra Hospital is listed, as are all metro hospitals in South Australia, with Gawler Hospital acting as a pilot site for SA country hospitals. Since July last year, SA has mandated that discharge summaries be uploaded from metro hospitals if a patient has a PCEHR.

The Northern Territory has indicated it is waiting until it completes its M2N project – in which the MeHR is transitioned to the national PCEHR – but it is likely to use the South Australian-developed Healthcare Information and PCEHR Services (HIPS) software, which acts as middleware in place of a function integrated within internal electronic medical records.

Both Tasmania and Victoria are yet to implement the capability as both states are currently undergoing state-wide IT reviews. Pulse+IT understands that Tasmania will use HIPS, while Victorian local health districts will decide their own path.

It is understood that Barwon Health in Geelong and Melbourne's Eastern Health are close to implementing the capability.

It is unclear as yet when Western Australia is planning to implement the functionality. NEHTA declined to provide further clarification.

As reported last week, Health Minister Peter Dutton has not committed to releasing the recommendations of the review panel into the PCEHR, with a spokesperson saying the government would respond β€œin due course.”

In the meantime, the Department of Health has suspended a teleconference planned with industry representatives scheduled for February 6, during which progress on uploading pathology results and advance care directives to the PCEHR was to be discussed.

The capability to upload pathology and ACDs was due to be available with the PCEHR release five in April, but it is understood this release has been suspended until the government makes its plans for the whole system known.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said that as of yesterday, there were 1,348,903 consumers registered for the PCEHR, with 13,585 discharge summaries uploaded and 13,016 shared health summaries.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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