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Hospital staff can make more informed decisions as SA electronic medical records system linked to My Health Record

Published 17 February 2021

Senior Intensive Care Specialist at Flinders Medical Centre and Chief Medical Information Officer for Digital Health SA Dr Santosh Verghese said the inclusion of My Health Record in South Australia’s electronic medical record system will improve clinical interactions with patients and ensure care is based on their medical history and directives. 

“In an ICU setting the arrival of patients is unpredictable and time critical when dealing with trauma,” he said.

“In this situation, access to the patient’s medical records and encounter history ensures the ICU clinicians can make informed decisions when the traditional health care networks and family networks are inaccessible.”

This development follows the announcement by Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Amanda Cattermole that work is complete on an integrated Sunrise electronic medical record (EMR) My Health Record (MHR) viewer in South Australia.

“This is a great step forward for SA Health clinicians who are now able to view and contribute to the My Health Record seamlessly through their clinical workflows,” Ms Cattermole said.

Sunrise EMR & PAS (Sunrise EMR) is the patient electronic medical record used in South Australia.

Sunrise EMR is used at many of the state’s public hospitals and healthcare facilities where it replaces the need for paper-based medical record documents and provides many benefits to patients and staff.

Thirty-three percent of public hospital beds in South Australia Health have access to an EMR and, through an embedded tab within the Sunrise EMR, access to My Health Record.

In mid-2020, the Agency and SA Health worked together to rapidly validate a proof of concept that builds on work conducted during the My Health Record expansion program in 2018/19 enabling uploading to and viewing of information in My Health Record. 

Ms Cattermole said the use of patient information in My Health Record is more widely adopted because of this work, as information is easier to access and nationally hospital staff are viewing over a 100,000 My Health Record documents a week.”

“South Australian patients will now benefit from improved handover of care as a result of access to information spanning their health journey and a reduction in user errors by having a solution that enforces patient context,” she said.

Tracie Nicolai, Associate Nurse Unit Manager and Clinical Documentation Specialist at Port Augusta Hospital said she was thrilled to see the new MHR tab in Sunrise EMR and was excited about the potential it had to improve patient care.

“In Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network we often observe patients with challenging personal situations and diverse cultural backgrounds,” she said.

“The transient nature of these patients, past history in human services guardianship and limited trust in the system means the records we have access to within the hospital and local health network only represent a fraction of their medical history. 

“The MHR tab has created a single view of the patient’s encounters with different parts of the health care systems and networks in SA and Interstate.”

The following key clinical documents will be able to be viewed in an individual’s My Health Record where one exists:

  • Shared health summaries generated by General Practitioners (GPs).
  • Event summaries from various healthcare providers.
  • Discharge (separation) summaries.
  • Pathology and medical imaging reports.
  • Prescription and pharmacy dispensing information.
  • Letters from specialists.
  • Advance Care Directives.

Media contact

Media Team
Mobile: 0428 772 421
Email: [email protected]

About the Australian Digital Health Agency

When it comes to improving the health of all Australians, the role of digital innovation and connection is a vital part of a modern, accessible healthcare system. Against the backdrop of COVID-19, digital health has seen exponential growth in relevance and importance, making it more pertinent than ever for all Australians and healthcare providers.

Better patient healthcare and health outcomes are possible when you have a health infrastructure that can be safely accessed, easily used and responsibly shared.

To achieve this, the National Digital Health Strategy is establishing the foundations for a sustainable health system that constantly improves. It underpins and coordinates work that is already happening between governments, healthcare providers, consumers, innovators and the technology industry.

For further information:

The Australian Digital Health Agency is a statutory authority in the form of a corporate Commonwealth entity.

Media release - Hospital staff can make more informed decisions as SA electronic medical records system linked to My Health Record (PDF, 223.36 KB)

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