Hutt Valley patients to benefit from new online health record

23 April 2015

From April 2015, authorised Hutt Hospital clinical staff will be able to view a summary of the health information held by their patient’s GP.

The new online access to the Shared Care Record means health providers can safely and easily access a summary of patient information through a secure connection. Information can only be accessed by authorised health professionals and access is audited to maintain confidentiality.

“The Shared Care Record will be a huge benefit to both patients and health professionals,” says Dr Sisira Jayathissa, acting Chief Medical Officer for Hutt Valley and Wairarapa District Health Boards.

Hutt Hospital’s Clinical Head of Emergency Department, Dr Richard Makower is also positive about the benefits of the new system. 

“Health providers often need to share information about patients. Traditionally we’ve done this on paper or by phone, but paper is too slow, and colleagues may not be available to talk in the middle of the night.”

Online 24 hour access to on-screen summaries from General Practice will be a huge improvement in clinical safety.

“For example, if an elderly patient suddenly goes into hospital, the hospital doctors can get a more complete view of that person’s general practice records quickly and without interrupting the GP. The ability to electronically share information will help improve the whole system. It makes information sharing and subsequent care more timely, safe and efficient,” says Dr Makower.

The software being used is a New Zealand-built product called ManageMyHealth™, and has been used in other parts of the country, including the Wairarapa for several years. It enables authorised health providers to easily access a summary of patient information through a secure web-browser connection. The clinical information available includes the patients’ medication details and their diagnoses.

“It’s important to know that individual patients can “opt out” if they do not want the selected information of their primary care health record shared with hospital staff through the Shared Care Record process,” Dr Jayathissa says. “If patients do not want their health information shared in this way they can tell their general practice, write to a free-post address or free-phone 0800 SCR MMH or 0800 727 664. However, taking part in this has real benefits in terms of their care.”

The new system will provide doctors and nurses with better information in settings where patients haven’t  planned on presenting, such as emergency departments.

The system is being launched across the Hutt Valley from April 2015, with the support of General Practices in the Hutt Valley and the Primary Health Organisation, Te Awakairangi Health Network. The system has been available in the Capital and Coast region since April 2014.

19 Hutt Valley practices have implemented a Shared Care Record, which makes up 81 per cent of all Hutt Valley DHB patients.