HCN signs on as local arm for Map of Medicine

Clinical and practice management software vendor Health Communication Network (HCN) has signed an agreement with UK-based Map of Medicine to act as the Australian contact for the clinical pathway solution.

Map of Medicine, which was developed in 2001 by two doctors in association with University College London and the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, is an evidence-based system that is designed to produce local clinical pathways to improve patient care between the primary and acute sectors.

Originally developed to improve referrals to hospitals, it is also used to provide guidance to GPs in referring to local healthcare organisations and to create local care maps. New Zealand has developed a similar system called HealthPathways.

Map of Medicine is used by more than 150 healthcare organisations in the UK and is now owned by media company the Hearst Corporation. It was introduced to Australia last year by the Metro North Brisbane Medicare Local and the Metro North Hospital and Health Service.

HCN CEO Phil Offer said the partnership would be two-fold, with HCN taking on a sales and marketing role and acting as the local presence, and it will also involve some integration with HCN's flagship product, Medical Director.

“We are still going over some details of how that is going to work, but there will be some integration with Medical Director,” Mr Offer said. “You don't need to do it fully but you will be able to get information out of Medical Director and be able to prompt [users].”

The system will be promoted primarily to Medicare Locals, with several currently trialling Map of Medicine. Others such as Hunter New England, Western Sydney, Barwon ML and most recently Inner East Melbourne and Inner North West Melbourne Medicare Locals have chosen HealthPathways instead. Western Sydney is also integrating its HealthPathways tool with its LinkedEHR system for team care.

Map of Medicine's managing director of commercial operations, Darren Nichols, recently toured Australian sites with HCN's knowledge solutions manager, Allison Hart, to showcase the product and how it can be applied to Australian healthcare.

“With over 260 clinical topics immediately available to healthcare professionals, the application of proven clinical pathways is fast and even in these early stages, the results in Australia speak for themselves,” Mr Nichols said.

Map of Medicine's information is compiled and kept up to date by an editorial team and provides access to international standards and healthcare pathways to refer to. This information can then be used as a basis to create localised care pathways.

Mr Offer said HCN would work with Medicare Locals to help implement the system and create local care maps.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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