Communicare rolls out across indigenous communities in Qld

Queensland's Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service will roll out Telstra Health's Communicare community health and practice management software package across seven sites in Yarrabah near Cairns, adding to the 187 sites it is live in across the country.

The contract follows an agreement signed in March with the North West Hospital and Health Service to roll Communicare out to 23 communities over an area of 300,000 square kilometres.

Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service supports the Yarrabah community, one of the largest indigenous communities in Australia. Communicare has been designed with a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

It allows clinical information to be accessed in multiple locations and by a range of health providers across primary healthcare including general practice, maternal health, immunisations, drug and alcohol management and paediatric care.

WA-headquartered Communicare is part of the HealthConnex group (formerly DCA Health) following its acquisition in 2012. HealthConnex was subsequently bought by Telstra Health in August 2013 as one of Telstra's first ventures as it began building its eHealth business.

Telstra Health's managing director Shane Solomon said Communicare showed how integrated, digital healthcare solutions could change health outcomes for all Australians.

“We set up Telstra Health to connect all Australians to the healthcare they need, when they need it,” Mr Solomon said in a statement. “This is a great example of how even the most remote Australians can still get the care they deserve.

“The importance of closing the gap cannot be overstated – not only do Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have a shorter lifespan than other Australians, but they also have higher rates of chronic illness such as diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease.

“Communicare allows health services to have integrated patient records and care plans as well as a tailored appointment management service that addresses unique challenges remote indigenous communities and patients face. The delivery of care is very different to visiting a GP clinic in a capital city and this makes it easier for doctors, patients and providers.”

Gurinny Yealamucka Health Service CEO Suzanne Andrews said Communicare was selected because of its focus on comprehensive primary healthcare.

“Communicare will help achieve better health outcomes for our people as well as empower all our health professionals to easily review performance on health outcomes for our patients,” she said.

Communicare general manager Greg Robinson said the company was delighted the health service had selected Communicare.

“They become almost our 200th site across the country and we look forward to them implementing the application to support holistic primary care to the community.”

Posted in Australian eHealth

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