Interview: Intrahealth

Pulse+IT: What products does Intrahealth make available to GPs and Specialists?

Intrahealth has developed and markets a General Practice and Specialist (Profile Specialist) version of our practice management system, “Profile”.

Both versions are complete systems enabling administrative, clinical and financial functions of practice management. We have adopted a platform approach to software development whereby a single source code copy supports our Australasian and North American customer base. This ensures Australian customers are able to access product development and enhancements initially developed for other markets.

In addition to Profile we have developed a number of other solutions including:

  • HCC – Health Care Community, is a case management application used in the delivery of care to outpatients, community health, mental health, sexual health, rehabilitation, diabetes, older peoples health and chronic care.
  • Accession – a provider and patient self management application based on internet enabled access; health professionals are able to interact with each other and their patients via the web. A provider and patient version exist and are available with Profile version 7.1 onwards.

Pulse+IT: What Intrahealth features are new users attracted to?

The features that appeal to new users are numerous and varied. The following features are often commented on:

  • Proven scalability with our Enterprise architecture addition. The current largest implementation is 1,000 users with a maximum concurrent user threshold of 300 to 400. Intrahealth products have been designed to scale and therefore are ideally suited to larger practices, Divisions of General Practice considering central hosting under an ASP delivery model, groups, community care organisations and providers of outpatient care.
  • Ability to add and define custom images that can be inserted in a patient’s EMR and then edited.
  • The powerful Find Objects reporting interface allows a user to drag and drop to create custom queries on almost all data items in the database, even down to searching for a specific word in the free text clinical notes.
  • The ability to search the appointment book for future appointments including booked, cancelled and free. This can be refined by appointment type, doctor and patient.
  • No advertising.
  • User defined alerts (popup and discrete alerts).
  • Flexible communication (Email, Tasks and Messenger).
  • Can represent multiple layered organisational structure.
  • Custom security and privacy by Role, Individual, Business node, Location and Group.
  • Customisation – Intrahealth products include customisation functions to enable the product look and feel and functionality to be tailored to practice requirements.
  • Extensibility – Ability to write macro’s to support functions and integration using visual basic.
  • SMS appointment reminder.
  • Waitlist for patients.
  • GEHR (Good European Health Record) based EMR design – structured clinical record underpins our applications.
  • Inbuilt form and letter template development functionality that is simple to use and offers rich functionality.
  • Excellent robustness and reliability.
  • A long term partnership model with customers – we recognise the investment and commitment required to change PMS.
  • Software design excellence and an international perspective – Intrahealth also has offices in Canada and New Zealand.
  • 3 tier architecture enabling dispersed and multi-site access.
  • Load balancing and redundancy supporting larger scale institutions.
  • Adoption of current technology including “.net” based web service interfacing module.
  • A well established and proven company exclusively committed to health.
  • Flexible commercial models designed to support customers achieving their organisational goals.

Pulse+IT: Which competing programs can you import data from?

We have developed data conversion utilities for many of the main PMS systems including:

  • MD2 and MD3
  • JAM
  • Houston
  • Medical spectrum (Classic, Plexus)
  • Medimouse
  • Medipak
  • Mediwiz
  • Remedy
  • RX
  • Total Care
  • Bluechip
  • Caseg

  • Good Practice

For all systems, manual transfers are also possible if the data can be provided in an unencrypted CSV format.

Pulse+IT: How is the data conversion performed?

For the above systems it is an automatic process handled by the transfer utility and conducted by Intrahealth staff. We purposefully do not outsource data conversion to ensure rigorous control and quality.

We adopt a structured quality orientated process intended to mitigate risk and ensure an excellent quality outcome. Our objective is to eliminate a user’s ability to identify data as having been imported as a result of a data conversion.

Pulse+IT: In addition to your own practice management solution, do you allow other solutions to interface with your clinical product?

Yes – Profile and Profile Specialist have extensive interfacing capabilities both inbound and outbound. Integration methods supported include HL7 messaging, web services, and any COM compliant exchange. Interfaces are able to be developed and maintained independent of Intrahealth.

Pulse+IT: Which secure messaging products does Intrahealth integrate with?

Our products are currently capable of creating HL7 files, which can be interpreted by Healthlink, Medical Objects and Argus. Profile and Profile Specialist allow templates to be created to collect data, which are then converted to HL7 format.

Pulse+IT: How is training and support provided?

A traditional software support model is provided including:

  1. First level – support analysts triage support calls and escalate matters they are unable to resolve. All calls are assigned a unique contact I.D.
  2. Second level – staffed by application analysts and business analysts. Application analysts work up matters escalated by first level and raise any development work packages to the developers.
  3. Third level – staffed by developers who in turn are assisted by quality assurance resources.

First level support is provided by our help desk via email, telephone, remote technologies (GoToMeeting, remote desktop) or web enquiry.

Our trainer/installers provide the initial and ongoing training including training material, quick guides for staff, remote training, group and onsite classes. We also offer a comprehensive accreditation course which is conducted over 5 days and designed to enable a large organisation’s internal IT team to provide 1st level support.

Pulse+IT: How many people make up the Intrahealth team?

The Intrahealth team is a truly international team of 70 people based in the markets we service (Australia, New Zealand, Canada) with the majority of development completed in Minsk.

Pulse+IT: Overview your pricing structure.

We typically price by work-station rather than user as we recognize some users share a terminal. Our Profile pricing structure consists of 2 parts, the initial purchase of the software and the annual support and maintenance fee inclusive of version insurance (future releases).

Annual license funds support infrastructure & personnel, product maintenance and version insurance. Annual fee starts at $300/WS (the license cost for a standard 5WS practice is around $4,000).

Licences are perpetual thus customers electing to terminate their Profile contract can continue to access data using the Profile application in enquiry mode though not read/write.

Pulse+IT: In addition to the Intrahealth licences, what other costs may practices have to meet?

Other associated costs commonly include Training, Data conversions, 3rd party products such as MIMS or Termsets (ICPC etc). Profile is deployable on a number of databases including a free version of Interbase or MS SQL.

Pulse+IT: How frequently does Intrahealth release updates?

We have no set interval for program updates, but an average cycle is a new version every 9-12 months and new builds every 3 to 4 months or as required to implement industry changes. The drug updates are dictated by PBS and MIMS as Profile uses the fully integrated eMIMS drug database. These updates are released monthly.

Pulse+IT: Is professional IT assistance required to perform these updates?

All files passed into and out of Profile use the same format and process including Careplans, Forms, MIMS, Termsets and additional practice data. It is a simple process that users are familiar with and does not require IT assistance. Program upgrades are released with a new installation wizard that is easy to follow and can be conducted by a practice manager.

Pulse+IT: How many practices are currently running Intrahealth?

There are approximately 450 sites with in excess of 5,000 clinical users. In Australia there are in excess of 80 sites using Profile as their practice management software ranging from large scale, multi location enterprises to smaller 2 to 3 provider practices.

Pulse+IT: What new features are you working on that Intrahealth users should look forward to?

Clinical performance indicators – further development of the key performance indicator concepts introduced in Profile version 7.0 to better support management of clinical care and “in practice” population health management.

Appointment templates – further enhancements to the appointment rules function to enable practices to establish and maintain specific appointment schedules including variable duration appointments.

Accession – patient view. Enables a patient to participate in their own care and self manage through the provision of a range of functions:

  • Reorder medications
  • Make an appointment
  • Add provision clinical notes – clearly identifiable as patient notes

Substantial configurable business rules underpin Accession enabling practices to enable or disable functions.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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