Digital health helping in emergency care

In a confused state and with a high temperature, Paul1 (aged in his 40s with a chronic and complex health history) was taken to the emergency department of St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney on a Saturday. He was unable to tell hospital staff what medicines he was taking or provide a clear history.

Emergency department staff accessed the My Health Record system to see whether Paul had a record. On finding that he did and reviewing the information, the emergency department physician was able to make a diagnosis and initiate treatment immediately.

This early treatment meant Paul was discharged earlier than would have been the case had the hospital had to wait until Monday to gather the relevant information from Paul's regular GP.

It was Paul's GP from the Inner West Sydney Medicare Local (IWSML) who spoke with Paul initially about the benefits of him having a My Health Record. Given his healthcare requirements, Paul gave consent to having a record without any access restrictions so all his healthcare providers could access his information. The GP had also uploaded a Shared Health Summary at the earliest opportunity for Paul.

The practice used the assisted registration tool to help drive uptake of the My Health Record system for their patients and together with the hospital being digital health-ready, Paul was treated and discharged quickly with a positive health outcome.

1 Not the patients real name


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