DCA acquires Communicare, readies for secure delivery of CDA

Database Consultants Australia (DCA) has bought WA-based software vendor Communicare, adding the Aboriginal healthcare specialist to its growing list of assets.

DCA, which two years ago bought the Argus secure message exchange software, also owns TCM, a software package that supports community-based service delivery to the aged care, disability and mental health sectors, as well as Connectingcare, a secure messaging service that also includes a web-based directory of health and community services.

Communicare will become part of the DCA group and there will be no change to staff or services to existing clients in the short-term, Communicare's director, Kerry Dunstan, said.

Ms Dunstan and her husband Brian, who established Communicare 18 years ago, will remain with the company.

"Being part of a larger and better resourced company will afford exciting opportunity for growth and development in both the product and services we can offer existing and new clients," she said. "We are very much looking forward to joining forces with DCA to maintain and enhance Communicare's position as the leader in Aboriginal health-specific eHealth software."

DCA's executive general manager for health and community services, Peter Young, said the acquisition "will provide further opportunities for future development using the sharing of skills and technology, and provide a support base on both the east and west coast".

“DCA has about 150 staff and a wider range of technology,” Mr Young said. “Communicare already interfaces to Argus and Connectingcare using the SMD standard.”

The two companies have been working together on the Northern Territory's continuity of care project, which will this week see the live use of the recently gazetted SMD standard and clinical document architecture (CDA) at the Ampilatwatja Health Service in Alice Springs.

The health service will receive secure discharge summaries from Northern Territory hospitals, and will be able to store and retrieve documents from the shared electronic health record operated by the NT Department of Health.

Mr Young said both DCA and Communicare were committed to the adoption of standards such as the SMD specification, the use of CDA and support for the evolution of the PCEHR.

He said the DCA messaging products used by Communicare and other software applications had passed the National E-Health Transition Authority's (NEHTA) Conformance, Compliance and Accreditation (CCA) program for secure messaging.

“These standards will enable health records to be securely shared, and empower healthcare providers with information to improve the quality and timeliness of care,” he said.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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