Royal Perth begins uploading discharge summaries to PCEHR

Royal Perth Hospital's Shenton Park campus has become the first WA hospital to begin uploading discharge summaries to the PCEHR, with the main Wellington Street campus set to come online in the next few months.

Royal Perth is using the Healthcare Information and PCEHR Services (HIPS) technology designed by SA Health and a vendor partner to link to the national system from its iCM clinical information system.

South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Queensland are all using HIPS, while NSW, Victoria and the ACT are uploading directly from the various clinical information systems in use.

A Royal Perth spokesperson said discharge summaries are being completed using WA's new Notifications and Clinical Summaries (NaCS) system, which is due to be rolled out as a state-wide solution to centrally host and share clinical documents like discharge summaries and outpatient letters.

NaCS is due to replace The Electronic Discharge Summary (TEDS) system still in use at the Wellington Street campus. TEDS is due to be progressively phased out at Royal Perth and the other health facilities currently using it in the south metropolitan area.

According to the hospital's liaison GP, Jacquie Garton-Smith, Royal Perth was the first hospital in Australia to send electronic discharge summaries into GP practice software via secure messaging back in 2005. Dr Garton-Smith has been working with local GPs to prepare them for the change to the new system, which she said won't be too different from current practice.

She also said Fiona Stanley Hospital, which will use iCM when it opens later this year, will be linked to the new NaCS central system.

For the PCEHR, discharge summaries must be packaged as clinical document architecture (CDA) files, but the hospital spokesperson said they will be sent to GP systems as PDFs for the time being, as not all recipient systems can accept discharge summaries in CDA format.

“Depending on the secure messaging provider, the opportunity exists to send the discharge summaries in both CDA and PDF format,” the spokesperson said. “This remains a future option dependent upon confirmation of its success.”

At Shenton Park, local copies of the discharge summaries are stored in the hospital's Global Document Store and are viewable from iCM. The hospital is linking the patient's Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) to its unique medical record number through WA's Enterprise Master Patient Index.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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