SA Health taps digital tech for faster sharing of patient info – Healthcare IT News

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SA Health has piloted a Secure Messaging service to allow clinicians to share patient information faster.
In partnership with the Australian Digital Health Agency, it has rolled out the service in a staged approach across all its local health networks that are either using the Sunrise EMR or the Open Architecture Clinical Information System. 
For now, the service allows SA Health to send discharge summaries directly to participating health providers. Around 40,000 of these summaries have been sent out across metro and regional hospitals in South Australia. Later, other documents will be included, such as electronic outpatient referrals, specialist letters and other communications from SA Health. 
The messaging technology, said ADHA CEO Amanda Cattermole, has met “rigorous security and privacy requirements, replacing existing manual processes and continuing to improve the interoperability of Australia’s broader digital health system”.
WHY IT MATTERS
The Secure Messaging service, according to Bret Morris, chief digital health officer at SA Health, reduces the use of fax machines and post and lifts the speed at which clinical documents can be shared between sites. “This technology makes the clinician’s work easier and more efficient while contributing to improved patient care for South Australians,” he said. The service is being used by over 300 practices and more than 2,000 individual health professionals across SA and nearby states.
THE LARGER TREND
In August, SA Health awarded a contract to Allscripts to deliver an electronic chemotherapy prescribing system to over 20 hospitals and care facilities across the state that offers cancer treatment services. The iQemo system by iQ Health Tech will be initially deployed in the middle of 2022 and will be integrated with the health centres’ existing Sunrise EMR platform from the same IT provider.
Meanwhile, the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre, along with the University of South Australia and SA Health, has been working on a project to develop a digital analytics tool to predict the risk of adverse events in hospitals. The said tool, which is aimed to resolve patient safety issues, such as ramping, suicide prevention, medication and falls incidents, will be piloted at the general medical and mental health departments in SA’s Central and Southern Adelaide Local Health Networks.
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