Out of date contact details that healthcare providers have about healthcare services and other practitioners can mean that patients’ medical documents and information is not able to be sent from one healthcare provider to another.

An up to date electronic registry is more important than ever, as healthcare professionals cannot expect patients to keep their physical referral letter or test results when they move to a different healthcare provider. To that end, the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has built a Service Registration Assistant (SRA), which keeps healthcare service and practitioner information up to date with changes to contact details available immediately to authorized users.

WHY IT MATTERS

Healthcare organizations can update their details in the SRA once, and this will automatically send these new details to all organizations they have authorized to receive their information. This might include hospitals, pathology and radiology services, public service directories, secure messaging providers and more. The SRA avoids the need for an organization to update their information in multiple places and eliminates the need for hundreds of other directories around the country to manually keep their directories up to date.

IMPROVED COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS

Initial results from a trial of the SRA in Northern NSW has shown significant improvements in communications between healthcare providers. To date, of 187 practitioners who participated in the trial and shared their details with the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD), 186 had to change or update their details during the trial period. The trial is a partnership between the ADHA, the NNSWLHD and the North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN).

For the NNSWLHD, having the most up-to-date contact information is essential to ensuring hospital discharge summaries get to the right person as quickly as possible. Discharge summaries can include information about a patient’s assessment, treatment plan and progress notes from their hospital clinician, and a digital copy is sent via a secure service to the patient’s nominated GP. This helps the GP to continue post hospital care through follow up appointments.

After the completion of the trial, the SRA will be expanded to provide a better-connected healthcare system, improve the transfer of care between healthcare providers and give healthcare providers more timely and complete information to support the care of their patients.

ON THE RECORD

“What is great to see is that the necessary, reliable and timely sharing of patients’ healthcare information between their healthcare providers is being improved by this latest feature of Australia’s digital health system,” said Bettina McMahon, Interim CEO of the ADHA.

“Healthcare providers all over Australia are enthusiastically using digital health so we want to make things as easy and efficient for them as possible. This tool will bring the benefits of digital health to more Australians.”

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