01 December 2015

Whanganui Share Health Information Between Services

From December 2015, authorised Whanganui Accident & Medical clinical staff will be able to view a summary of the health information held by a patient’s GP. Whanganui DHB Chief Medical Officer Dr Frank Rawlinson says that within the next six months the Whanganui Hospital will also be able to access this same information.

“Having access to additional patient records will help improve the whole system. It makes information sharing and subsequent care more timely, safe and efficient,” Dr Rawlinson says.

“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 great improvement in clinical safety.”

“This is just the start of electronic sharing between primary and secondary services, and the hope is that it will only broaden in the future.”

The new online access to the Shared Care Record means health providers can safely and easily obtain a summary of patient information through a secure connection. Your information is completely protected, as the security is similar to internet banking. Information can only be accessed by authorised health professionals and access is audited to maintain confidentiality.

Whanganui Regional Health Network Clinical Director and Bulls Medical Centre GP Dr Ken Young says the Shared Care Record will be beneficial to both patients and health professionals; and additionally supportive to regional patients, as health information will also be available at MidCentral after-hours clinics.

“If any patients from Whanganui regional practices need to attend after-hours in Palmerston North, that centre will have access to the patient’s General Practice information and this will be a huge support with diagnosis and treatment,” Dr Young says.

The software being utilised is a New Zealand built product called ManageMyHealth™ and has been used in other parts of the country, including the Wellington region 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’ prescribed medications, allergies, test results and 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 Young says.

“If patients do not want their health information shared in this way they can tell their general practice, write to a freepost address or free phone 0800 SCR MMH or 0800 727 664. However, taking part in this has real benefits in terms of their care, as the new system will provide doctors and nurses with better information in settings where patients haven’t planned on presenting, such as at Emergency Departments or as casual patients in other General Practices.”

The Shared Care Record roll-out is being led by the Whanganui Regional Health Network and will be launched in the Whanganui region before the end of December 2015. So far ten General Practices have implemented a Shared Care Record, which makes up approximately 87 percent of all patients enrolled with a Whanganui practice.

01 September 2015

Major Improvements to the Shared Care Record Planned for September

In September 2015 three major improvements are being made to the Shared Care Record which will enable better care for more patients and will allow more transparent information to be available to patients about the Shared Record.

The first improvement will see 21,276 more patients with a Shared Care Record, as seven new practices join the programme in the second wave of involvement. The addition of these practices to the programme means that 82% of people living in the Wellington, Kapiti, Porirua and Hutt Valley districts and 78% of people living in the Manawatu, Horowhenua region will now have a Shared Care Record.

The second improvement will enable paramedics from Wellington Free Ambulance to access the Wellington and Hutt Valley record for urgent community care. This will allow Wellington Free Ambulance to improve the quality of complex care they provide to patients in the community by having relevant health information available to support clinical decisions.

The third improvement will allow information about the Shared Care Record to reach more people who need to know about how their health information is shared. The website will allow the team to articulate clear and transparent information about the record to the public across the different regions. The website includes the basic information about the project including: What information is shared, who is the information shared with and how you can opt out of sharing health information. The website will also allow media items, audit results and governance decisions to be added to the news section and shared easily using the new Shared Care Record (SCR) domain names.

All of these improvements will be implemented over the month of September 2015.

The practices joining the programme are; Linden Surgery and Plimmerton Medical Centre in Porirua, Raumati Road Surgery and Grace Surgery in Kapiti, Main Street Surgery and Fitzherbert Road Medical Centre in the Hutt Valley and Victoria Medical in Palmerston North.

23 April 2015

Hutt Valley patients to benefit from new online health record

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.

09 September 2014

Shared Care Records Growing in the Wairarapa

The Shared Care Record is growing. It is currently in place for adult patients from Masterton Medical, Whaiora, Carterton Medical Centre, Martinborough Health Centre, Featherston Medical Centre and Greytown Medical Centre.

From 1 October, children and young people under 18 will also have their GP information available on the Shared Care Record.

Children were originally excluded from the Shared Care Record as there were concerns about patients in unsafe situations at home being coerced into revealing their access to their patient portal record. The software has now changed and ManageMyHealth now differentiates between the Shared Care Record and the patient portal, meaning children can have a Shared Care Record without having to have a Patient Portal.

This has alleviated the need for this rule in the MidCentral and Capital & Coast implementation and will now be employed in the Wairarapa to standardise the 3 DHBs records.

From 1 October, the Shared Care Record will also include lab results and discharge summaries. This will be available to all Shared Care Record users in general practice and afterhours but will not be available to the Emergency department, Hospital or Community Pharmacy.

We will be informing patients of these changes in the local newspapers over the next month and will be reiterating the fact that all patients can opt out of the SCR at any time.  Parents are entitled to opt out their children (under 18) but the SCR Administrator may phone their enrolled practice to confirm the relationship before confirming the opt out.

If patients do not wish any other health providers to have access to their Shared Care Record, they can opt-out by calling us on 0800 727 664 or sending a letter to the freepost address below:

Freepost Authority Shared Care Record
PO Box 27380,
Marion Square,
Wellington 6141. (No stamp required)

04 April 2014

New online health record a big step forward for patients in Wellington Region

From 7 April 2014, health record summaries from General Practices will be immediately available to hospital clinicians and afterhours GPs, as a new system for accessing primary care health records online is launched in Wellington, Porirua and the Kapiti Coast.

The Shared Care Record enables health providers to safely and easily access a summary record of patient information through a secure connection via ManageMyHealth™. Information can only be accessed by authorised health professionals and is kept safe and confidential.

"The Shared Care Record will be a huge benefit to both patients and health professionals," says Capital and Coast DHB Chief Executive Debbie Chin. "It’s a big step forward for the region and means that when Capital and Coast patients are unwell, an up-to-date summary of their health history will be available to the hospital clinical staff that are treating them."

Wellington GP Richard Medlicott is equally positive about the benefits for patients of the new system. "Often health providers need to have access to shared information about patients," he says. "For example, if an elderly patient suddenly goes into hospital at night, the hospital doctors can get a more complete view of that person’s general practice records and easily see what medication they are taking and if there are any recent test results, so having access makes it much quicker and easier to treat someone."

Capital and Coast’s Clinical Director for Corporate & Clinical Support Services, Peter Hicks, says while clinical information is already shared using paper systems, it is not always available when it is most useful. "With the Shared Care Record hospital clinicians will be able to see a patient’s information through a link in the individual patient’s on-screen record. The clinical information available will make a real difference to the quality and safety of the care delivered."

For any patients who do not want their health information shared in this way they can free phone 0800 727 664, write to a free-post address or tell their general practice they want to "opt out". "However, people need to know that taking part in this shared system has real benefits in terms of their care and will provide doctors and nurses with better information in settings where patients haven’t planned on presenting, such as emergency departments," says Richard Medlicott.

Capital and Coast and the Primary Health Organisations, including Compass Health, Well Health, Ora Toa Health Services and Cosine Primary Care Network, see the Shared Care Record as a significant improvement for patient care.