SA electronic medical records linked to My Health Record

Friday, 19 February, 2021

SA electronic medical records linked to My Health Record

The inclusion of My Health Record in South Australia’s electronic medical record system will improve clinical interactions with patients and ensure that care is based on medical history and directives, according to Dr Santosh Verghese, Chief Medical Information Officer for Digital Health SA.

Dr Verghese said that in an ICU setting, the arrival of patients is unpredictable and can be time critical when dealing with trauma. In this situation, access to the patient’s medical records and encounter history would enable ICU clinicians to make informed decisions when the traditional healthcare networks and family networks are inaccessible.

This development follows an announcement that work is complete on an integrated Sunrise electronic medical record (EMR) My Health Record (MHR) viewer in South Australia. Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Amanda Cattermole said this will enable SA Health clinicians to view and contribute to the My Health Record through their clinical workflows.

Sunrise EMR & PAS (Sunrise EMR) is the patient electronic medical record used in South Australia. It is used at many of the state’s public hospitals and healthcare facilities, replacing the need for paper-based medical record documents and providing many benefits to patients and staff.

Approximately 33% of public hospital beds in South Australia Health have access to an EMR and, through an embedded tab within the Sunrise EMR, access to My Health Record. In mid-2020, the Agency and SA Health worked together to validate a proof of concept that builds on work conducted during the My Health Record expansion program in 2018–19, enabling uploading to and viewing of information in My Health Record.

According to Cattermole, the use of patient information in My Health Record is more widely adopted because of this work, as information is easier to access. Nationally, hospital staff are viewing over 100,000 MHR documents a week.

“South Australian patients will now benefit from improved handover of care as a result of access to information spanning their health journey and a reduction in user errors by having a solution that enforces patient context,” said Cattermole.

Tracie Nicolai, Associate Nurse Unit Manager and Clinical Documentation Specialist at Port Augusta Hospital, said she was thrilled to see the MHR tab in Sunrise EMR and was excited about its potential to improve patient care.

“The MHR tab creates a single view of the patient’s encounters with different parts of the healthcare systems and networks in SA and interstate,” said Nicolai.

Medical practitioners will be able to view a range of clinical documents in an individual’s My Health Record, such as shared health summaries generated by general practitioners (GPs), event summaries from various healthcare providers, discharge (separation) summaries, pathology and medical imaging reports, letters from specialists, advance care directives, and prescription and pharmacy dispensing information.

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