Mater and RACGP Oxygen sign up for Pen sidebar tool

Mater Health Services and RACGP Oxygen have formed a partnership to link GPs to the Mater Shared Electronic Health Record (EHR), a Wave 2 PCEHR project.

Incorporating Mater's clinician portals with a new patient portal being developed by Mater as part of the Wave 2 program, the Mater Shared EHR will enable GPs, private obstetricians, patients and Mater Health Services in south-east Queensland to collaborate and share health information on maternity patients.

RACGP Oxygen, a commercial enterprise owned by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), is working with eHealth software developer Pen Computer Systems to deliver an integrated connection to the Mater Shared EHR from GPs’ desktops through Pen's PrimaryCare Sidebar tool.

The tool will notify GPs that a patient has a Mater Shared EHR record and provide a secure link to that patient’s record, letting the GP view, and securely share with Mater, important patient information, Mater's CIO, Mal Thatcher, said.

“This valuable initiative ensures vital patient information is available to the patient’s consented healthcare team in order to increase patient safety and provide the most appropriate care,” Mr Thatcher said.

The PrimaryCare Sidebar is an eHealth resource that resides on the clinical desktop and integrates with the leading clinical and billing systems in general practice. RACGP Oxygen is currently deploying the tool nationally.

In addition to the Mater Shared EHR functionality, the PrimaryCare Sidebar offers a suite of tools and resources that provide decision support, assist in increasing quality care, save time and identify profitable opportunities that flow from the provision of quality care.

Mr Thatcher said both Mater and RACGP Oxygen see a natural fit for the Mater Shared EHR in the PrimaryCare Sidebar as the tool is already being deployed and utilised in general practices across south-east Queensland.

Claire Jackson, president of the RACGP and a GP at Inala Primary Care in Brisbane, said Mater Health Services and RACGP Oxygen teams are working closely with the Greater Metro South Brisbane Medicare Local and Accoras in the roll out of the project.

“Both the RACGP and Mater Health Services have already established relationships with their local practices and demonstrate great experience in rolling out programs to engage practices while improving health outcomes for patients,” Professor Jackson said.

“Shared electronic health records provide patients with continuity of care and reduce fragmentation of care, which is particularly important for maternity patients.”

Funding for the initiative is part of the grant won by Mater Health Services last year as a Wave 2 site for the implementation of the PCEHR.

Mr Thatcher said that beyond the government's deadline of June 30 for the projects, it is Mater's intention to continue to support its clinical partners through the most appropriate means of sharing clinical information for consented patients.

“We are therefore both confident and hopeful that the Commonwealth will continue to support Mater to achieve this where such means are aligned with the Commonwealth’s objectives for a national personally controlled electronic health record,” he said.

For more information on the Mater Shared EHR and other Wave 2 sites, see the February issue of Pulse+IT magazine, due out on February 20.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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