The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) and the Australian Digital Health Agency are partnering for a series of e-learning modules on My Health Record, the Government's digital health record system.

The training is designed to ensure nurses can use the platform in everyday practice so information is consistent across the healthcare sector, with the overall aim of improving patient outcomes.

The e-learning module is the latest in a series of initiatives conducted by the agency and the ACN to ensure nurses are intrinsic in the use of the platform, which give medical professionals access to a patient’s important health information.

The online training will also help ensure nurses are kept informed and equipped with the latest updates for best practice when using the record system.

A 2017 report published in the journal Informatics for Health and Social Care found the effect of electronic health records (EHRs) on patient safety was overwhelmingly positive.

The study found EHRs can improve patient safety by minimising medication errors, improving documentation of data and enhance the completeness of data--involving nurses in this process was found to help to facilitate that outcome.

As the frontline of the healthcare system, nurses often serve as the first point of contact for patients when discussing their options in using EHRs.

Earlier collaborations between the agency and ACN had focused on supporting the nursing profession to use the My Health Record system in everyday practice.

“My Health Record is another tool we can add to improve patient safety, improve efficiencies within our role and allow us to spend more time caring for our patients,” Helen Almond, an ACN specialist general practice nurse and digital health lecturer, said in a statement.

The training, which is accredited by the ACN, will count towards a nurse’s continued professional development—the agency claimed nearly 400,000 nurses could benefit from the training.

“Empowering healthcare professionals to confidently use My Health Record in their daily practice is a priority for the agency,” Meredith Makeham, chief medical advisor for Australian Digital Health Agency, said in a statement. “A healthcare workforce fully trained on My Health Record will ensure a safer and more sustainable health system for all Australians across the country.”

Meanwhile, the agency is developing a workforce and education roadmap to support nurses and other healthcare professionals using digital health technology to deliver health and care.

“Nurses make up the largest number of healthcare professionals in Australia, it is therefore essential they have access to training that will support them to use the system with confidence and competence,” Almond said. “These modules do exactly that.”

Last August, Australia’s future nurse leaders emphasised technological advancements as a priority measure to ensure the nursing workforce can meet demand for quality health care in the future.

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