MediRecords has partnered with the eRX Script Exchange to provide electronic prescriptions directly to patients
We are ePrescribing Ready!
MediRecords is proud to announce ePrescribing is here! As a cloud-based solution, we are better able to connect with a variety of other virtual care services, such as telehealth via Coviu, electronic appointment, and now e-prescribing.
As part of our ‘Virtual Care Strategy’,MediRecords has partnered with the eRX Script Exchange to provide electronic prescriptions directly to patients, we have met full compliance for e-Prescribing, as opposed to ‘fast-track’ compliance. This makes our solution much more secure.
What is ePrescribing?
E-Prescribing is a replacement for physical prescriptions given to patients every day. Instead of having to keep hold of the original physical prescription, patients are instead given a unique e-Prescription token via email. The Token is securely stored within the eRx Script exchange. The patient retains control of who can access their prescription. This means a signed piece of paper it is no longer required.
If the patient elects to have an electronic prescription, they will receive a token via email or paper printout for each item prescribed. Once in possession of their token(s), the patient can then provide this directly to a pharmacy of their choice. The token provides a link to a unique code used by the dispensing pharmacy to access the legal document for dispensing. The patient will automatically receive a new token for any repeats.
This workflow completely removes the need to relay in imagebased prescribing, such as faxing a paper prescription to a pharmacy then following up with a signed original in the mail.
What are the benefits of ePrescribing?
There are four main benefits of e-Prescribing for practices and their patients.
Instant patient access to prescription regardless of location of appointment
Greater convenience for patients thanks to a digital copy of the prescription
Return power of choice of pharmacies to patients
Reduction of administrative costs from sending prescriptions via fax and post
We are currently rolling out e-prescribing to select MediRecords customers. If you would like to start using e-prescribing, then please let us know by contacting email@example.com
How can the Interoperability of Cloud Solutions Improve Patient Outcomes?
Michelle O'Brien, Head of Strategy
By giving health professionals easier access to patient data using the cloud, we can improve patient outcomes with less administration.
This article is the first of my series that looks to demystify and clarify the benefits of adopting Cloud solutions for healthcare. I hope this series will help save you time wading through and comprehending some of the overly technical information that is out there.
In this article I discuss how this is possible, now, thanks to how interoperable cloud systems are when exchanging health information.
We hear the term Interoperability a lot but what does it really mean in a healthcare context?
Often people are unsure what I mean when we talk about interoperability and health information exchange. What we really mean is delivering systems that allow all healthcare providers, across the healthcare continuum, access to anear live view of the patients’ longitudinal health record.
Unfortunately, many of our legacy, server based systems, which around 95% of GP’s still use,keep a patients longitudinal record in a server. As a result information is siloed from other parts of the healthcare system. If the patient only ever goes to one GP over a lifetime, then this may not be a major issue.
However,if the patient is in an Aged–Care facility, moves to a new state or unexpectedly ends up in the ED, this means the new healthcare provider has no visibility of the patients’ clinical history.This adds significant clinical risk when treating a patient, especially when the patient cannot communicate their clinical history as is often the case.
A detailed example…
An example of how our currently disconnected health system impacts on patient outcomes is a palliative care patient in an Aged-Carefacility.In this scenario a patient may need shared care,requiring their medical information being accessed by:
Aged care provider
Psychology and other allied health
Mental Health support
Private health insurer
That is 10 potential stakeholders, who may all need access to some, or all, of the clinical record.
The reality is that in an acute or urgent situation a patient’s data does not move with them; instead each stakeholder has their own piece of siloed information.Transmitting that data to those who need it is currently time consuming and laborious, due to the use of outdated technology like fax, printers, couriers, mail and secure messaging. It’s as if we give each stakeholder a single jigsaw piece, then expect them to know what the completed image is.
If this is how things are done currently – why does this matter?
This is a good question, and one which, for many in healthcare, has an uncomfortable answer. This siloed approach to patient data matters because it impacts on patients care and health outcomes.
If we go back to our palliative care patient in an Aged Care Facility, not understanding their history can lead to patients being unnecessarily transported to an Emergency Department without anyone reviewing their wishes. They find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings, with clinicians who have little background on their condition.
This outcome is distressing for everyone. If the entire care team had a view of the patients record, including their end of life wishes, outcomes for the patient would be so much better. This scenario highlights two main problems:
Problem 1: The administrative burden
The infographic below highlights some of the current challenges facing clinicians trying to manage the care of a patient. As you can see the process is stressful, time consuming and very administrative.
The reality is that this slow and expensive process is neither sustainable, nor acceptable for our patients. We need to find a way to manage these administrative costs through improved access to patient medical information for everyone in their treatment circle.
Problem 2: The risk to patient safety due to lack of information
The second problem is the inability to share patient data across the health system. As the patient moves between primary, acute, community and virtual settings, their risk of an adverse event increases. This is because without a complete view of the patients’ longitudinal health record clinicians are flying blind.So how can cloud systems solve the interoperability challenge?
All the problems I have mentioned can be fixed. However, it will take time for healthcare providers to understand the value of Cloud and adopting modern healthcare standards to achieve interoperability.
Our vision for the future is that all healthcare professionals will use Cloud systems. This will allow them to log in anywhere, from any device, and directly access their patient’s information.
The concept of shared, virtual, and immediate multidisciplinary team care has the potential to significantly reduce administrative costs. More importantly it can improve health outcomes through the way we manage chronic disease and mental health,and provide health and social care to our ageing population, whether they are in Aged Care facilitates or in the home.
Ultimately it is the patient who will benefit the most from Cloud technology and interoperability,thanks to the the ability to have their clinical record travel with them no matter where they are in the health care system.
Michelle O’Brien, who is based in our Sydney office, is Head of Strategy here at MediRecords.
MediRecords Product Update: Improved Secure Messaging Integrations for Users
Matthew Galetto, Founder & CEO
Thanks to support from the Australian Digital Health Agency's SMIO program, users can now enjoy improved secure messaging integration
MediRecords users will soon be able to enjoy improved integrations with multiple secure messaging providers.
Having completed its evaluation, The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has confirmed we have met the Secure Messaging Industry Offer (SMIO) development requirements, which seeks to improve interoperability between secure messaging services.
Ultimately this will allow our users to:
find other healthcare professionals more easily via the Agency’s central directory service,
message users of different secure messaging providers; and
be confident that this will meet current and future Australian encryption standards.
This means our users are one step closer to breaking away from paper-based correspondence.
What is the Secure Messaging Industry Offer (SMIO)?
One of the ADHA’s main goals in their current strategy is to eliminate clinicians’ dependence on paper-based correspondence by 2022.
Secure messaging is central to achieving this, allowing clinicians to communicate and share patient information online, on multiple devices, without the significant security risks of using email or consumer services such as WhatsApp.
A significant barrier to realising this has been the lack of interoperability between different secure messaging software products. This has created challenges for clinical end-users and inhibited the adoption of secure messaging in Australia, as clinicians using different products cannot communicate with each other.
The ADHA has been working closely with software providers and the clinical community to address this via the Secure Messaging Industry Offer. They are providing developers of clinical information and secure messaging systems, like MediRecords, with incentives to deliver improved interoperability as soon as possible.
How will this benefit our users?
As outlined above, the main benefit of the SMIO is that it will allow users of different clinical secure messaging systems to communicate and share patient information. More specifically, MediRecords users will be able to enjoy:
Enhanced searching across multiple secure messaging providers via a federated provider directory service;
Interoperability and message exchange with different secure messaging enabled software products by utilising standardised messages;
The ability to securely exchange messages based on current and future Australian encryption standard.
All this will allow clinicians to break free from the limitations and frustrations that come with paper-based communication, and ultimately allow you to provide better care for your patients.
What are the requirements?
To ensure MediRecords meets the standards required, we have been working with the ADHA to update the platform to meet the SMIO developer requirements. These requirements were agreed by an ADHA technical working group, comprising representatives of software providers and other government bodies.
The group outlined the technical standards for looking up provider addresses using a federated provider directory model, and on which message formats will be supported. These were successfully trialled in two proof-of-concept projects in 2018, leading to the current Secure Messaging Industry Offer.
When will we be rolling out?
We currently expect to release this update on 30th October 2020. We may however choose to release this earlier is possible, so keep an eye out.
Our release version will be V3.7.
About the Australian Digital Health Agency
Since 2016, the ADHA have existed to improve health outcomes for Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems and the national digital health strategy for Australia.
The Agency is responsible for national digital health services and systems, focussing on engagement, innovation and clinical quality & safety. They achieve this by putting data and technology safely to work for patients, consumers and the healthcare professionals who look after them.
Survey Results: What do Clinicians really look for in Practice Management Software?
by Andrew Dyson, Digital Marketing Lead
COVID impact, working habits and rejection of Telehealth?
Throughout July we ran a survey for users of Medical Practice Management Software, like MediRecords. The aim was to listen to, and learn from, both our own users and those who use alternatives.
In this article we have summarised some of the more interesting insights around:
the impact of COVID on doctors
the working environments of clinicians
what users want from practice management software, and
How important Telehealth features are to clinicians.
If any of this sounds interesting, then please read on! But before we get into it, we would like to say a big thank you to all who took part in the survey.
As with all survey data, the stats can often be interpreted in many ways. If you have any insights or explanation for what we found in the survey, we would love to hear from you via firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Survey & Audience
Our survey was delivered to GP clinics via fax, email and through The Medical Republics e-newsletter. Whilst the survey was open to clinicians, practice managers, nurses and business owners, most respondents primarily identified as clinicians.
We ran our survey throughout July, which ended up being an interesting time. The initial explosion of conversations around Telehealth had begun to quieten down (more on this later), whilst Victorians began seeing lockdown restrictions gradually being enforced as they experienced their ‘second wave’.
One noticeable skew was that the audience had a significant amount of professional experience, with over 40% having over 20 years in General Practice, which is worth bearing in mind as you read this article:
GP’s Working Environment
We were keen to understand how GPs tend to work, as this allows us to better understand how MediRecords can be as useful to clinicians as possible.
We found GP’s were split fairly evenly between those who work in one location, and those who work across multiple locations. What is not clear if this means they work across multiple practices, or often from home, something which could be influenced by the current pandemic.
Far more clinicians work on multiple devices rather than one, which us unsurprising given our consumer habits across phones, tablets and computers. It is particularly interesting for practice management software however, as ease of working across devices and locations is very difficult on server-based solutions such as Best Practice and Medical Director, compared with cloud solutions like MediRecords.
It was interesting to see that almost as many people use Apple products as do Windows, again something that could make browser-based software more appealing to ensure consistency of experience and usability for GPs on whichever device they use.
Preferences for practice management software
We asked our GP respondents a lot of questions about their preferences are for practice management software. This information is best summarized in the two questions:
What do you like about your Practice Management Software ? And…
What do you not like about your Practice Management Software?
Surprisingly, the same sort of answer was most popular for both questions – Usability!
It can be easy to get lost in specifications and functionality lists when choosing Practice Management Software, but what this shows us all is that, fundamentally, it means little if the platform is not easy for clinicians to use. We suspect this will also be what drives most day to day frustrations users have with their current software.
(By the way, we think this is great news given the positive feedback we have had on MediRecords from our users. If you are struggling with usability there is a solution!)
So, are clinicians looking for something better?
We then asked if clinicians were planning on reviewing or upgrading their software over the next five years. Only 40% of respondents said they would consider doing so.
Many in the healthcare tech space may find this disappointing, but we believe it shows us the wider trend of reluctance to adopt and change with new technologies. Whilst many may be heralding a silver lining of COVID to be increased adoption of technology, the results suggest this mindset change will not happen overnight – even if pushed by a major event such as COVID.
If clinicians are still reluctant to change, what does this mean for Telehealth adoption?
We asked respondents to rank features in terms of the importance to them when choosing practice management software. Whilst we won’t be sharing the full results of this (hopefully you can understand, we want to keep some knowledge to ourselves!) what was surprising was that Telehealth was the second least important feature to the GPs we asked.
The timing of the survey may have had something to do with this. Whilst in the earlier days of the pandemic many GPs were trying to figure out how to incorporate Telehealth into their daily workflow, by July Telehealth MBS items had been live for over a month, with GPs finding that using the telephone was an easier, more familiar solution in the short term.
Again, this may reflect the reluctance of many to adopt new technologies, even if these technologies lead to better experiences for patients. We can see the benefits of telehealth via remote monitoring via projects such as Spritely’s recent trial in retirement villages in Christchurch, but clearly there is more work to be done to help clinicians see if there is a benefit for them.
So, what do clinicians want from their PMS?
Finally, we asked what GPs wished their PMS could do that it does not already.
The results here were less clear, with 27% of people wanted a feature specific to their practice’s requirements, and a further 20% wanting an integration with a specific other service.
This shows how personal and bespoke the needs of many practices are, and how software such as MediRecords must not only be flexible for different workflows, but also responsive to users when they need new feature. For more insight on the types of request we typically see, you can head over to ideas.medirecords.com to see the ideas our customer have come up with that we are working on.
Again, usability came up, this time as something that respondents wish their PMS offered. Given the large share of the market enjoyed by traditional solutions such as Medical Director and Best Practice, perhaps this reflects the need for clinicians to look at some of the newer, easier to use options that are out there.
Andrew Dyson is our Digital Marketing Lead here at MediRecords, and managed this latest survey. Prior to joining MediRecords he has worked on marketing projects, including in depth market research, for some of the largest employers in the UK.