Wairarapa patients to benefit from new online health record

30 September 2011

The Shared Care Record will be a huge benefit to both patients and health professionals says Wairarapa DHB Chief Executive Tracey Adamson. Its a big step forward for the region. What this means is that when Wairarapa patients are unwell, an up-to-date summary of their health history will be available to the clinical staff who are treating them. We are committed to the roll-out of the Shared Care Record to all patients and medical practices in the Wairarapa.

Wairarapa Community PHO Board Chair Elaine Brazendale is equally positive about the benefits of the new system. “Often health providers need to have access to shared information about patients” she says. 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 as soon as possible. The ability to electronically share information will help improve the whole system. It will make both information sharing and subsequent care more timely, efficient and safe.

The software being used is a New Zealand-built product called ManageMyHealth™ which enables health providers to easily access a summary record of patient information through a secure web-browser connection. “Only authorised health professionals can access the information which will be kept safe and confidential”, says Ms Brazendale.

“Clinical information is already shared using paper systems, but this is not always available when it is most useful” says Wairarapa DHBs Chief Medical Officer Alan Shirley. With the Shared Care Record hospital clinicians will be able to see a patient’s information through a link in the individual patient on-screen record. The clinical information available will be limited to 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,” says Mr Shirley. “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.

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

The DHB, the PHO and Compass Health (who have managed the project) see this as a significant improvement for patient care,” says Tracey Adamson. “We anticipate that eventually all patients and primary care practices will participate in this progressive initiative.

The system is being rolled out across the Wairarapa, in conjunction with other local PHOs within the Capital and Coast and MidCentral health districts later this year.