Australia has a world class health system, and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how important technology is to allow healthcare providers to communicate with each other securely and immediately.
The Agency and its partners, the Northern NSW Local Health District and North Coast Primary Health Network, recently released the initial results from the Service Registration Assistant (SRA) proof of concept.
The SRA proof of concept was built because out-of-date details that healthcare providers have about healthcare services and other practitioners can mean that patients’ medical documents and information cannot be sent from one healthcare provider to another.
SRA is an accurate electronic registry that keeps healthcare service and practitioner information up-to-date, with changes published immediately to authorised users. This means organisations don’t need to update their information in multiple places and eliminates the need for hundreds of other directories around the country to manually keep their directories up to date.
Initial results (as at 10 July) from the proof of concept showed significant improvements in supporting electronic communications between healthcare providers.
48 healthcare services (HCS) have published their details to the LHD across 60 transactions (12 healthcare services have had more one update):
- 8% (5) HCS didn’t exist in the address book and were required to be added;
- 87% (52) existing HCS required updates; and
- Only 5% (3) HCS required no change.
320 practitioner record updates have been published to the LHD resulting in the following updates to their address book:
- 18% (57) practitioners didn’t exist in the address book and had to be added;
- 78% (251) existing practitioners required updates; and
- Only 4% (12) practitioners required no change.
Key benefits of SRA include:
- Supporting digital communication through the improvement in data quality about healthcare services and their practitioners, across the health sector. All of the incoming information about patients will be with their healthcare providers, and address books will be up to date.
- For hospitals, having the most up-to-date contact information is essential to ensuring hospital discharge summaries get to the right person as quickly as possible.
- Discharge summaries can include information about a patient’s assessment, treatment plan and progress notes from their hospital clinician, and a digital copy is sent via a secure service to the patient’s nominated GP. This helps the GP continue post-hospital care through follow up appointments.
The Agency recognises the role played by members of the Australian Association of Practice Managers in this proof of concept. Healthcare providers all over Australia are enthusiastically using digital health, so we want to make things as easy and efficient for them as possible. The SRA will bring the benefits of digital health to more Australians. SRA is a project under the Secure Messaging Program, a key priority in Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy. The aim of this priority is to end the dependence on fax machines and paper-based correspondence by empowering healthcare providers to communicate with other professionals and their patients via secure digital channels.