MidCentral patients to benefit from new Primary Care Shared Health Record

09 November 2011

A new system for clinical staff to access Primary Care health records online when treating patients is to be launched in the MidCentral region over the next few weeks.

The Shared Care Health Record project will be a benefit to both patients and health professionals, and make health care safer and more effective”, said Central PHO General Manager Joe Howells.

The shared care record gives health professionals secure access to a summary of a patients’ up-to-date health information as held on their medical records in the participating general practices.

Different health providers need to have access to shared information about patients. For example, if a patient suddenly goes into hospital, the hospital Doctors using the shared care record can get a more complete view of that person’s general practice records,” said Mr Howells. “For example the treating Doctor or Nurse will be able to accurately find out the patients current medications, and any health warnings applicable”.

The shared care record allows health providers to easily access a summary record of patient information through a secure web-browser connection, using a New Zealand built product called “ManageMyHealth™”.

Only authorised health professionals will be able to access patient information which will be kept safe and confidential”, says PHO Clinical Director Chiquita Hansen. “An audit trail will be kept each time a clinician accesses a patients records, enabling retrospective review if required”.

This new system will provide doctors and nurses with better information in settings where patients haven’t planned on presenting such as at general practices after hours, City Doctors or Radius Accident and Medical Centres or at the MidCentral Hospital Emergency Department,” says Ms Hansen.

If patients do not want their health information shared in this way they can choose to opt-out of the system by either telling their general practice, writing to a free-post address or ringing a free-phone number (0800 SCR MMH or 0800 727 664).  Patients can find out if their practice is participating in the project by ringing the same free phone number, or contacting their practice directly.

The system is being launched in participating practices in the MidCentral district in December 2011 followed by a roll out throughout the district early next year. This follows a successful launch of the shared care record in the Wairarapa earlier this year. The system will also be implemented in the Capital and Coast DHB region next year

The initial participating practices for MidCentral include the Tararua Health Group, Horowhenua Community Practice and Otaki Medical centre, covering 30,000 people. This will be followed later by practices in Palmerston North, the remainder of Horowhenua and Feilding Practices early next year.