The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has publicly stated on 17 February that it has completed its final stages of integration between South Australia Health’s Sunrise Electrical Medical Records (EMR) and patient administration system (PAS) to the country’s My Health Record (MHR). This will grant healthcare providers the access and ability to upload information directly onto the MHR platform.

An embedded tab within the Sunrise EMR provides clinicians with access to MHR which creates a unified view of a patient’s interactions across the health care system. This contains shared health summaries from general practitioners, pathology and imaging reports as well as prescription information from a patient’s visit both within South Australia and interstate.

Why it matters
By providing a more holistic view of the patient’s past medical records as well as information on any medical care that was previously administered, clinicians will be able to provide more personalised medical care which would potentially translate into better patient outcomes. As a result of this integration, hospital staffs are also more willing to use MHR due to the easy availability of information.

Previous research conducted in Australia showed that there was one omitted medicine from the medication history among every two patients who were admitted. These could ultimately result in disastrous outcomes for the patient if a new caregiver were to take over and provide medical attention to the patient without being fully cognizant of the patient’s medical history. Being able to fully access the patient’s medical records would allow for them to provide more appropriate medical care and prevent such situations from occurring.

The larger trend
The demands and pressure put on healthcare organisations have been rising steadily over the years as we progress in this digital era. There has been a shift towards providing more patient-centred care as well as empowering patients. Patients are expecting more personalised medical care and want to be more involved in their own treatments and be kept in the loop about issues pertaining to their health. Through the integration of EMR and MHR, both medical experts, as well as patients, can have easier access to their medical history, allowing them to be more informed.

On the record
“South Australian patients will now benefit from the 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,” explained Cattermole, the CEO of Australian Digital Health Agency.

“The transient nature of these patients, past history in human services guardianship, and limited trust in the system mean the records we have access to within the hospital and local health network only represent a fraction of their medical history. The MHR tab has created a single view of the patient’s encounters with different parts of the health care systems and networks in SA and Interstate” Tracie Nikolai, Associate Nurse Unit Manager and Clinical Documentation Specialist at Port Augusta Hospital elaborated.

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