Digital health

COORDINARE provides a range of support tools to ensure that you and your practice can achieve meaningful use of current eHealth systems.

Digital Health is about electronically connecting up the points of care so that health information can be shared securely. This information enables health professionals to deliver safer, more efficient, better quality healthcare. 

To learn more about eHealth view the RACGP digital business kit, visit the My Health Record website or find out about privacy and security. A training video for health professionals on how to create a PRODA account is also available here.

Additional resources about eHealth are available in the resource library or for more information contact our Digital Health team at digitalhealth@coordinare.org.au or by calling 1300 069 002.

The delivery of safe, effective and efficient healthcare relies on good communication and systems that share information, where the subject of care can be accurately and reliably identified. The Healthcare Identifiers (HI) Service is a national system, operated by the Department of Human Services, for uniquely identifying healthcare providers, healthcare organisations and individuals receiving healthcare.

Healthcare Identifiers are a fundamental component of all national eHealth programs and initiatives, such as the My Health Record system. Healthcare Identifiers help ensure individuals and healthcare providers can have confidence that the right information is associated with the right individual at the point of care and when information is shared, it reaches the intended recipient.

There are three types of Identifiers that can be used. These are:

  • Healthcare Provider Identifier – Individual (HPI-I) – for individual healthcare providers involved in providing patient care
  • Healthcare Provider Identifier – Organisation (HPI-O) – for organisations that deliver healthcare (such as medical and allied health practices, or hospitals)
  • Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) – for individuals receiving healthcare services.

Individual healthcare providers registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) are automatically assigned a Healthcare Identifier. You check this on the AHPRA website.

If your profession is not regulated by AHPRA, you need to apply for a Healthcare Identifier using this form.

My Health Record is the national digital health record system. As the South Eastern NSW PHN, COORDINARE aims to increase use of digital health initiatives, including support for the expansion of My Health Record.

Consumers

The Australian Government has announced that a My Health Record will be created for all Australians in 2019, unless they choose not to have one.

My Health Record is an online summary of your key health information. You can control what goes into your My Health Record, and who is allowed to access it. You can also share your health information with doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers involved in your care from anywhere, any time.

Health information stored in your record can include information from you, your healthcare providers and Medicare, such as:

  • a shared health summary – an overview of your health uploaded by your doctor
  • an event summary – to capture information about a key healthcare event relevant to ongoing care
  • hospital discharge summaries
  • e-referrals and specialist letters
  • medications overview
  • prescription and dispense records
  • PBS and MBS records
  • pathology and imaging reports
  • immunisations
  • allergy information and any previous adverse reactions
  • organ donor decisions
  • your advanced care plan
  • personal health summary and health notes
  • emergency contact details.

As more people use the My Health Record system, Australia’s national health system will become better connected. This will result in faster and more efficient care for you and your family. Strict rules and regulations on who can see or use your My Health Record protect your health information from misuse or loss.

If you don’t want a My Health Record, you can opt out of the system until 31 January 2019. The Australian Parliament has also passed new laws to strengthen the privacy and security protections within My Health Record. The new legislation means that you can opt in or opt out of My Health Record at any time, and permanently delete your record.

To find out more visit myhealthrecord.gov.au or call 1800 723 471 for assistance. Information is also available on this brochure, factsheet or regarding privacy and security.

Healthcare providers

The My Health Record system provides an active online record that follows your patients as they move through Australia's health system, capturing important clinical and treatment information at different points in time.

You can access timely information about your patients such as shared health summaries, discharge summaries, prescription and dispense records, pathology and diagnostic imaging reports. My Health Record will not replace existing medical records and you will continue to take and review clinical notes.

Information regarding My Health Record can also be found on HealthPathways Illawarra Shoalhaven and ACT & Southern NSW.

Training resources

The Australian Digital Health Agency has developed an online training environment where healthcare professionals can simulate use of the digital health functionality in their software. Access to On Demand Training can be found here.

The training environment also provides a Consumer Portal, simulating the look and functionality of a consumer’s view of the My Health Record system. Step-by-step guides on interacting with the My Health Record, including managing access and setting advanced privacy controls are available here.

Register your practice now

Healthcare providers can find information on registering for digital health and connecting to the My Health Record system here. Alternatively, contact COORDINARE’s Digital Health Officers to assist you.

One of COORDINARE’s strategic priorities is partnering to integrate services and systems. As part of achieving this, we will increase the use of secure messaging to streamline the flow of relevant patient information across the health provider community.

Secure messaging supports the secure point-to-point delivery of healthcare messages to a single known receiving organisation. Secure electronic messaging significantly lessens the chance of your clinical information being accessed and read by a non-healthcare recipient. 

There are currently four SMD services available — Argus, HealthlinkMedical Objects and ReferralNet.

Electronic prescribing and dispensing of medication

Electronic Prescription and Dispense systems or Electronic Transfer of Prescription (eTP) is the process of sharing prescription, prescriber and patient identifier information electronically among the relevant providers.

ETP occurs when a prescription is generated in a participating provider’s electronic medical record. When a prescription is printed a digital copy of the prescription information is sent to a repository called the prescription exchange service or the PES. The PES then allocates a barcode to access this information that is printed on the paper prescription.  

When the patient presents the paper prescription to the pharmacist, the barcode is scanned and the information is sent directly to the pharmacy dispensing system from the PES without the need to re-enter the information. This reduces the risks of transcription errors.

There are currently two eTP services available — eRx Script Exchange and MediSecure.

The eHealth Practice Incentives Program (ePip) incentive aims to encourage practices to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in eHealth.

To be eligible for the eHealth PIP, your practice must be accredited, or registered for accreditation, against the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for general practices and meet the eHealth PIP requirements.

Telehealth services use information and communications technologies to deliver health services and transmit health information. It encompasses diagnosis, treatment, preventive and curative aspects of healthcare services and typically involves patients, care providers or educators in the provision of these services.

Interactive telehealth appointments are real-time communication encounters between a patient and a clinician, delivered via video conference. In this way, the patient and practitioner are able to talk, share images and information as they would in a face-to-face appointment.

These consultations may occur in the patient’s home, a general practice, residential aged care facility, Aboriginal Medical Service or, consulting rooms or other settings.

Access to telehealth services can reduce waiting time, travel time and expense for patients that would otherwise have to travel to see a practitioner. Allowing patients to access treatment closer to their own family and home can help to alleviate anxiety and streamline the patient journey.

For appointments with specialists, a variety of telehealth consultations can be bulk billed, particularly if the patient lives in a rural or regional location.