E-Discharge summary trial launches in Katoomba

The Blue Mountains District Anzac Memorial Hospital in Katoomba is trialling an electronic discharge summary in preparation for a wider introduction across the Greater Western Sydney region in 2012.

Approximately 12 local general practitioners are involved in the trial, which will see patient discharge information sent electronically to the GP's clinical software.

According to the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), the latest statistics show that 78 per cent of Australian GPs are not directly informed that their patient has been admitted to hospital, and 73 per cent do not directly receive discharge summaries.

The 'Wave 2' PCEHR site in the Greater Western Sydney area is one of the 12 lead implementation sites being used for testing the components of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR).

As part of the lead site project, a GP shared health summary is also being developed, which will be able to be accessed by other healthcare providers through a GP repository and clinical repository.

A spokesperson for the Lead Site for PCEHR in Greater Western Sydney said the trial in the Blue Mountains would evaluate how eDischarge summaries will work, before being rolled out to the larger hospitals in late March and April.

“At the moment we are only doing a small trial – we have about 12 GPs from the Katoomba area involved,” the spokeswoman said.

“We will try everything out and get feedback and then roll it out more widely in late March and April.”

She said a clinical repository is also being set up to store the shared documents such as health summaries and discharge summaries.

“The GP has to be enrolled in the trial and the GP networks are actively involved in recruiting the GPs,” she said. “At the admissions stage we will check to see if the patient's GP is enrolled and that will be flagged.

“The discharge summary will have all of the key information relating to the patient’s treatment in the hospital, and when the clinician hits send, a message is sent to the GP through their system and a copy will eventually go to the clinical repository and the GP repository, where it will be archived.”

The project is utilising HealthLink to securely encrypt the Discharge Summary and deliver it to the intended recipient GP.

"Messages exchanged are not emails,” a Healthlink spokesperson said. "These are standards compliant structured HL7 REF I12 messages that allow the GP to import, review and acknowledge the receipt of the discharge summary. It forms part of the patient's electronic record and provides end-to-end accountability.”

An electronic version of the My First Health Record (or electronic Blue Book) is also being trialled in early May next year. This will be an electronic version of the paper Blue Book that is given to every newborn child.

Babies born in a maternity ward in one of the area's public hospitals – such as the Blue Mountains, Blacktown, Mt Druitt, Westmead, Auburn hospitals or the Children’s Hospital at Westmead – may be registered for the trial, with the parent/guardian’s consent, which will involve the creation of an electronic version of the My First Health Record for storing and updating information.

Parents will be able to access their baby's Blue Book through a parents' portal, where they will be able to put in their own notes key milestones or specific events.

“It is basically anything that a parent would normally put in the paper version, except it will be completely portable,” the spokesperson said.

A portal will also be established for healthcare providers to input healthcare information, such as growth and weight details and immunisation records, and the Lead Site for PCEHR in GWS is currently developing a mobile app for even more portable use.

The test site is being led by a consortium consisting of Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, Western Sydney Local Health District, the Children's Hospital at Westmead, WentWest (Western Sydney Medicare Local), the Nepean, Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury-Hills Divisions of General Practice, and several other partners.

"As a lead site for the PCEHR, we are rolling out some components of the national PCEHR, so we are testing and trialling out components to NEHTA standards," the spokesperson said. "Once the national PCEHR is available, the Lead Site for PCEHR in GWS can be rolled into the national PCEHR."

She said the consortium was working with a number of different software vendors on the different components of the project. For the eDischarge summary trial, Fujitsu is providing infrastructure support.

Comment is currently being sought from Orion Health whose products are used by the hospital, and the GP clinical software developers with customers involved in the trial.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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