HCN signals end of MD2 support, announces MD3 training session

Health Communication Network (HCN) has urged its customers using Medical Director version 2 to upgrade to version 3 as they will no longer be able to use the system to prescribe from May.

MD3 was first released in 2005 and is now used by all but 2% of HCN's Medical Director customers.

The company announced its intentions to cease development of the long-superseded version of Medical Director in October 2011, and according to HCN's Director of Strategy and Operations, Tania Taylor, the organisation has been actively communicating with its MD2 user base about the need to upgrade since this time.

"We've been sending out the warnings on the MDRef updates since October and we've been sending periodically to our MD2 customer base emails detailing the percentage of customers on MD2 and stating that it really is time to upgrade and that you'll only have until May to switch over. We've been canvassing pretty hard and we've made a real dent but there are the final couple where [the doctors] are retiring at the end of the year or people are not ready to move at this stage."

HCN CEO John Frost discounted the possibility of antiquated computer hardware being an issue for practices that have not migrated from MD2 to the more resource-hungry MD3 version of the product.

"I can't for the life of me imagine there are any practices these days that couldn't run MD3 [on their existing hardware]. To put it in perspective, when we launched MD3 in 2005 -- seven years ago -- there were probably a meaningful percentage of our MD2 customer base that couldn't run Windows 2000, which was the baseline requirement for MD3. But these days I can't imagine there is any hardware that could be that old and still clunking along."

Mr Frost indicated that changes to the MDRef drug database system have necessitated the imminent cessation of HCN's support for MD2.

"We made improvements to the drug database system in MD3 last year and it got to a point where it just became impossible to support the old structure in MD2, which is a product that has been in maintenance mode for six years," he said.

Ms Taylor indicated that all new development -- including features relevant to the PCEHR and other national eHealth initiatives -- has, for some time, been directed at MD3.

"The benefits people get from upgrading to MD3 now is access to all the eHealth features, which are not being put into MD2. Whatever changes we're making now are paving the way for future eHealth initiatives hooking into MD3 and we don't want to be doing this development work across two or three products. MD3 is going to be the product that supports eHealth going forward.

"We are very supportive of the government's eHealth strategy and we work closely with industry bodies to deliver those aspects of eHealth that will make a difference to the doctor and the patient, as we did with Healthcare Identifiers," said Ms Taylor.

In a separate announcement, HCN has also announced it will be holding Medical Director 3 and Health Communication Network (HCN) PracSoft training sessions in Brisbane next month.

The MD training will be held on Friday, April 20 and PracSoft on Friday, April 27. Both day-long courses will be held at the Redcliffe Leagues Club.

The training sessions are aimed at nurses, receptionists, allied health professionals and doctors.

The topics covered in the MD3 session are the more widely used areas of the program, including entering effective progress notes with minimal typing, designing and using shortcuts in progress notes, using clinical tools to provide data for SIPs and care plans, understanding coding in Medical Director and database cleansing.

The sessions will also cover new features in Medical Director 3 and time-saving tips and shortcuts to help with patient management and professional accreditation.

The PracSoft session includes using the appointment book and waiting room, institutional billing, patient claiming, integrating EFTPOS and using Medicare Online for Department of Veterans Affairs and Medicare claiming.

It will also cover using Medicare Online to forward immunisation details.

The sessions cost $240 per person per day. To register, call 1300 300 161 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Posted in Australian eHealth

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