St Vincent's helping to create connected healthcare communities for their patients

St Vincent's Hospital is situated in the heart of Sydney's busy Eastern Suburbs precinct and is one of the twelve lead eHealth sites across Australia. On average, at least ten patients per week are now presenting to St Vincent's with their personally controlled electronic health record (eHealth record) and this number is increasing.

For the majority of these patients, when they leave the hospital a Discharge Summary will go to their eHealth record. Over time as more healthcare professionals register to use the system the better connected our health system will become and when a GP opens a patient's record, they will see meaningful, clinical data.

Rachel Byrne, national eHealth record system project manager at St Vincents & Mater Health Sydney, said that only last week they had over 30 patients with a PCEHR across St Vincent's Hospital, St Vincent's Private Hospital and the private specialists in St Vincent's Clinic.

"The numbers show we have affected a lot of change in how information is captured when patients are admitted and how information is shared with providers in the community. That's 30 real patients who are starting to share meaningful content in their records with their healthcare providers," Ms Byrne said.

In addition, all inpatients are now being asked for their GPs details. The GP is selected from an internal GP database (which contains the electronic address of the GP) to ensure the Discharge Summary can be sent electronically to their GP. Where a GP doesn't have an electronic address, the project team are contacting the GP (in liaison with the Medicare Local) to get them connected to electronic messaging and registered for the personally controlled electronic health record (eHealth record) system.

"We are putting lots of resources into it, but patient recruitment is more than just a numbers game, it's about improving the care provided to our patients."

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