The Centre for Eye Health (CFEH) has commenced posting all patient reports and relevant images to the Federal Government’s My Health Record platform. The organisation claims it is the first in the eyecare industry to do so, and expects the system to improve communication and, subsequently, patient care.
With nine in 10 Australians now assigned a My Health Record, the change is expected to affect a large proportion of the CFEH’s patients.
“Secure electronic communication pathways between optometrists and ophthalmologists as well as with other health professionals involved with our patients’ care such as GPs, public eye clinics and other specialists are currently somewhat fragmented,” Dr Michael Yapp, CFEH Head of Clinical Operations and Teaching, said.
“The convenience of having this information in a central location will allow both patients and associated health practitioners the ability to access historical information and provide the best possible ongoing care.”
Yapp also told Insight that while a small number of patients have asked that their personal records not be uploaded, the vast majority have been happy to take advantage of the system.
The change should be noticeable to the many public hospitals, referring optometrists, ophthalmologists, endocrinologists and other healthcare professionals CFEH collaborates with. “Uploading patient information to My Health Record will help facilitate better inter-disciplinary communication and represents a great step forward for the CFEH’s collaborative approach,” Mr David Murray, CFEH executive director, said.
According to Murray, the initial integration with My Health Record took some time. Medinexus, the Australian Digital Health Agency and the Central Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network helped bring the project together.
“Now that the system is in place it is very simple to use. Posting reports to My Health Record through Medinexus occurs at the same time as sending it securely to the referring practitioner with a single click,” Murray said.
Australians who did not opt-out of the system had a My Health Record created on their behalf at the beginning of this year. The system is designed to serve as an online summary of a patient’s key health information and improve communication between practitioners.