Innovation that takes the stigma out of STI testing
 

Innovation that takes the stigma out of STI testing

Approximately 30,000 Australians are using a revolutionary service that saves them from awkward face-to-face conversations with doctors about sexually transmitted infections

The service, Stigma Health, is part of Australia’s largest sexual health network specialising in online STI testing. And it uses MediRecords for patient records, appointment management, Medicare claiming and more.

Stigma Health eliminates embarrassment by removing the need for in-person clinical consultations and allowing consumers to get a non-confrontational STI-test pathology referral online then take it to any of the 10,000 pathology collection centres Australia-wide.

Australian data shows that one in 25 people aged 15-29 had chlamydia in 2021, but fewer than one third received a diagnosis. Additionally, 2,630 Australians are unknowingly living with HIV. Reluctance to be tested is likely to contribute to these statistics.

Stigma recommends STI testing whenever people have a new sexual partner — or every three months.

Founders James Sneddon and Dr. Mitchell Tanner believe strongly in the power of new technology for the greater good.

“We use MediRecords as it is a cloud solution, which is fantastic for our remote workforce,” the CEO, Mr Sneddon, said.

“Further, the MediRecords app is the most secure way to communicate and share results with our patients.

“The SMS-on-demand feature is also a fantastic communication/notification tool.”

Stigma Health has recently introduced telephone and video appointments.

“We are managing these with MediRecords appointments and the COVIU video platform, Mr Sneddon said.

“These appointments also carry Medicare claiming, which is simple with the MediRecords platform.”

“In my role as CEO of our group of clinics, MediRecords allows me operational transparency to understand our capacity, our efficiency and, best of all, our outcomes.

 “MediRecords’ facilitation of APIs and working towards keeping their system open and able to integrate is of huge value to our organisation,” Mr Sneddon said. 

Legal drug testing

In a world first, Mr Sneddon and Dr Tanner have also started harm-minimisation telehealth testing service for users of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) & performance and image-enhancing drugs (PIEDs).

Also supported by MediRecords software, the service, Roidsafe, is a legal, judgment-free platform.

“Many steroid users rely on ad-hoc information from other users within their community,” the site noted.

“Regular Roidsafe testing gives you insight into how your body functions pre, during and post-cycle, so you can make informed decisions.”

It tests liver and kidney function, cholesterol levels and a range of hormone levels.

“Our platform is 100% confidential and more affordable than making multiple visits to your GP to gain a referral, plus follow–up appointments to get your results,” Roidsafe stated.

“Getting tested with us is easy. We deliver your online referral, you get tested at a local pathology clinic, and your results will be sent securely to your mobile phone.”

Read more about Stigma Health on their website

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    Untapped potential: Hybrid care benefits remain overlooked post-pandemic

    Untapped potential: Hybrid care benefits remain overlooked post-pandemic

    Hybrid care — that is the mixed delivery of in-person and telehealth consultations by a clinic — is decreasing in Australia, according to leading telehealth platform Coviu.

    “This compares to a continued increase in the use of self-paid telehealth consultations with online-only GP services,” Coviu CEO Silvia Pfeiffer said.

    “The recent introduction of GP telehealth services by Woolworths for a fixed $45 rate is a clear example demonstrating what consumers want, but what their own GPs may not be delivering.”

    “While hybrid care is deemed the future of healthcare, we seem to be going in a direction where we are facing a segmentation of the industry into technology-only service providers and technology-averse service providers.”

    For hybrid care to function successfully, new reimbursement models and new models of care are necessary, Dr Pfeiffer said.
    Currently, most practitioners favoured the in-person attendance of patients, and patients did not feel empowered to ask for telehealth consultations, she said.

    “In a situation of clinician shortage where brick-and-mortar clinics have sufficient in-person patient traffic, there is very little incentive for the adoption of telehealth.

    “This will unfortunately lead to a continued reluctance of the adoption of hybrid care [and] lead to patients turning their backs on their own local GPs, instead seeking telehealth services from online-only providers.

    “This cannot be a desirable future.”

    Coviu’s position is that today’s Medicare reimbursements for telehealth consultations, “certainly are not designed to encourage the use of telehealth”, requiring an in-person visit at least once a year before patients become eligible for telehealth consultations.

    “This creates extra administrative burden on the practice, even discouraging practice administrators from offering telehealth consultations to patients,” Dr Pfeiffer said.

    “Better training and better triage rules for healthcare professionals, practice managers, administration staff, and nurses would certainly help to empower the industry with better telehealth capabilities.

    “It would address the technical capabilities gap in healthcare, the reluctance to video telehealth adoption, and facilitate necessary changes in patient pathways.”

    MediRecords has partnered with Coviu to streamline booking of video consultations with practice clients. Once your Coviu account is connected to MediRecords, any consultation nominated as a telehealth appointment auto-generates a link to the Coviu virtual consultation and your client is sent an invitation via SMS or email.

    MediRecords and Coviu are both Australian developed cloud-hosted health technology companies.

    Read more about Coviu on their website

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      Head in the cloud: embracing cloud technology for virtual care

      Head in the cloud: embracing cloud technology for virtual care

      A case study on how MediRecords helped Doctors on Demand embrace cloud technology for virtual care. 

      At the international MedInfo conference in Sydney, MediRecords had the pleasure of leading a panel with key client Doctors on Demand. The focus of the session was managing the transition from legacy server-based software to MediRecords’ cloud-based technology.

      MediRecords Group Manager of Customer Success, Michael Alldrick, and Doctors on Demand Director of Governance and Programs Amanda Yeates, discussed the challenges of server-based software for virtual care businesses, the process of changing to the cloud, and benefits that have flowed from making the move. For those who could not attend, here are some highlights from their conversation.

      Doctors on Demand Overview

      Michael: Before we delve into the details, let’s start with an overview of Doctors on Demand and the services the company provides.

      Amanda: Doctors on Demand is a virtual healthcare service provider that connects patients to doctors through video conferencing. We prioritise technology, and our 100% remote workforce allows patients to access healthcare from anywhere. Initially, we faced challenges with our on-premise practice management software, which was retrofitted to meet our needs. However, as we grew, it became clear that a more seamless and scalable solution was required, leading us to explore cloud-based options like MediRecords.

      Michael: The limited options for cloud-based technology in 2015 necessitated careful consideration. Can you explain the challenges faced during the transition and the decisions that led to embracing a cloud-based solution?

      Amanda: Certainly. We established virtual servers to provide remote desktop access for our doctors, enabling them to access clinical information about patients. However, this setup created a complex workflow, where doctors had to toggle between their own desktops and the virtual server, leading to inefficiencies and scalability issues. We needed a seamless solution where doctors could access patient data anytime with an internet connection. After surveying the market, we chose MediRecords as the cloud-based system that aligned with our requirements.

      Data migration and maintaining continuity of care

      Michael: Moving from an existing system to a new one while maintaining patient continuity of care is critical. MediRecords placed a lot of emphasis on this and worked hard to ensure complete patient record and appointment history was migrated. How did you feel about this process and was it enough to ensure a smooth transition into a new system?

      Amanda: The data migration process was complex due to the extensive amount of data accumulated over the years. We worked closely with MediRecords’ data migration team, implementing a phased approach to ensure minimal disruption to our 24/7 service. We started with a few doctors, gradually migrating data in tranches. Our collaboration with MediRecords ensured that the data was accurately represented in the new system. Despite the size of our clinical workforce, we managed to complete the transition within a few weeks, thanks to MediRecords’ support and training resources.

      Cost savings and streamlined operations through cloud technology

      Michael: During your transition to MediRecords’ Doctors on Demand achieved substantial cost savings by eliminating the need for a dedicated IT team to manage your previous complex on-premise system. Can you elaborate on how this switch streamlined your operations and led to significant improvements in efficiency?

      Amanda: Certainly, Michael. The move to a cloud-based solution with MediRecords was a game-changer for us. As mentioned, we had previously set up virtual servers to provide remote desktop access for our doctors, which introduced complex workflows leading to inefficiencies and scalability issues. With MediRecords’ cloud technology, and the ability to access patient data anytime and anywhere, we eliminated the need for a dedicated IT team to manage our previous on-premise infrastructure. The cloud-based solution is more user-friendly and requires minimal maintenance. The API integration also played a crucial role in automating tasks, reducing administrative overhead, and saving on operational costs. Thanks to these cost savings, we could reallocate resources to enhance our virtual care services, expand our offerings, and pursue future growth opportunities, creating a more sustainable and efficient healthcare model for Doctors on Demand.

      Harnessing the power of cloud and APIs

      Michael: Embracing cloud technology can significantly impact workflows and patient care. How has the integration of MediRecords Connect API service supported your doctors and users, and how does it enhance your current workflow?

      Amanda: As a patient-driven service, it was crucial for us to have real-time access to clinical data during consultations. MediRecords facilitated this through API integration, enabling data to seamlessly flow into our practice management software. Doctors now have immediate access to essential patient information during consultations. Additionally, our administrative team can enter doctor schedules in MediRecords, which are promptly reflected on our website. The two-way communication facilitated by APIs streamlines our operations and enhances patient care. 

      Future growth and advancements

      Michael: Doctors on Demand has shown progress in corporate health, private insurance, and other areas. What are Doctors on Demands future plans, and how does the company envision growing its services?

      Amanda: Like many health tech companies, we have an ambitious pipeline of work for the coming months and years. In the next financial year, we plan to focus on mental health services, providing virtual primary care and mental health care plans. Additionally, we aim to strengthen our partnerships with corporate entities, leveraging the advantages offered by MediRecords’ 2.0 interface. This new interface will enhance patient communication capabilities, including email and demand management.

      Michael: Exciting times ahead! Lastly, based on Doctors on Demand’s experience and decision-making process, what advice would you give to organisations considering new technologies to future-proof their businesses?

      Amanda: Making the transition to new technologies can be challenging, but it’s crucial for scalability and growth. As an organisation, we were determined to embrace change. Education, support, and collaboration were key in successfully navigating this journey. MediRecords’ training resources, webinars, and live chat support played a significant role. Despite the initial resistance to change, we managed to onboard our large clinical workforce within weeks. So, I would encourage organisations to thoroughly assess their needs, seek support, and embrace new technologies for long-term success.

      Conclusion

      The collaboration between Doctors on Demand and MediRecords highlights the positive impact of cloud technology on virtual healthcare services. By migrating from a legacy server-based solution to MediRecords’ cloud-based system, Doctors on Demand overcame challenges, improved workflows, reduced costs, streamlined operations and enhanced patient care. The seamless data migration, ongoing support, and future growth plans demonstrate the successful transformation enabled by embracing cloud technology for virtual care. 

      Read more about Doctors on Demand on their website.  

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        Global healthcare facing a diabetes tsunami
         

        Global healthcare facing a diabetes tsunami

        Diabetes rates are set to soar worldwide, a new study in The Lancet reveals.

        By 2050, an “alarming” 1.3 billion people are expected to be living with diabetes, up from 529 million in 2021, if no action is taken, the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington has found.

        Lead author Liane Ong warns that the rapid growth of diabetes poses immense challenges to health systems worldwide, as the disease is associated with other severe health conditions like heart disease and stroke.

        “The rapid rate at which diabetes is growing is not only alarming but also challenging for every health system in the world,” Dr Ong said.

        The surge in diabetes cases can be attributed to rising obesity rates and demographic shifts, with older adults particularly vulnerable.

        Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this study emphasises the necessity for more effective mitigation strategies and an equitable approach to diabetes treatment.

        The looming crisis, underscored by a series of Lancet articles, has prompted an editorial in an edition of the journal last month, which argues that “the world has … underestimated the true scale and threat the disease poses”. It calls for a “course correct”.

        MediRecords can support patient-centric diabetes care with features including templated assessment forms and care plans, and ePrescribing. New ‘Premium’ features supporting Case Management and Group Appointments are coming soon.

        Remote monitoring effective

        Previous studies have shown that remote monitoring of diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) reduces the number of visits to the outpatient clinic, but a new study, published this month in The Lancet Regional Health – Europe, has found further benefits.

        A randomised controlled trial with 180 participants by a group of French researchers led by Dured Daldari found that remote monitoring of DFU by an expert nurse significantly reduced cumulative hospital days — from 13.4 days (95% CI 9.0–17.8) in the control group to 7.1 days in the intervention group (2.8–11.5).

        Further reading
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          MediRecords stepping into outpatient clinics at MQ Health

          MediRecords stepping
          into outpatient clinics
          at MQ Health

          Leading Australian cloud health software company MediRecords will be the new clinical record system for MQ Health outpatient clinics.

           

          MediRecords has been selected following a competitive tender process to support 18 clinics providing a range of services including breast health, cardiology, endocrinology, haematology, neuropsychology, neurology, ophthalmology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and urology.

          The project will also involve integration with MQ Health’s electronic medical record, an InterSystems TrakCare solution.

          MediRecords CEO Matthew Galetto welcomed the partnership with MQ Health’s leading clinicians, researchers, students, and Australia’s first university-owned teaching hospital.

          “This is an amazing opportunity to support the work of multidisciplinary outpatient clinics providing such vital services to Sydney residents,” Mr Galetto said. “We look forward to working with MQ Health teams and getting data migration and implementation under way.”

          MediRecords supports hospital and outpatient clinic clients including:

          • The Victorian Virtual Emergency Department and Northern Health mental health team, as an ePrescribing system
          • Queensland Health’s Metro North Virtual Emergency Department as an ePrescribing system
          • 13 Queensland Health Hospital and Health Services as a billing and claiming system for outpatient clinics
          • My Emergency Doctor virtual teams providing senior emergency physicians to Urgent Care Centres, hospitals and ambulance services across Australia
          • Private hospital Visiting Medical Officer consulting suites as an electronic health record (EHR) and patient management system.

          MediRecords is also the clinical EHR for another major university.

          For the full list of MQ Health clinics, see MQ Health Medical Services & Clinics.

          Media inquiries

          To arrange to speak with Mr Galetto, or for further information on the MQ Health project, please email Tim Pegler or call  0412485146.

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            A Missed Opportunity
             
             

            A Missed Opportunity


            Matthew Galetto - Founder and CEO

            How the Australian Government Failed to Maximise the Potential of the GP Grants Program for Digital Health Adoption

            The Australian Government recently launched the Strengthening Medicare – General Practice (GP) Grants Program, allocating $220 million over two years to support general practices and eligible Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs). The program aims to provide funding for improvements in patient access, support safe and accessible quality primary care, and enhance digital health capabilities.

            As an observer of the digital health landscape both as a consumer (patient) and participant as a software vendor, I was eagerly awaiting the unveiling of the GP Grants program. I was hopeful that the grants would finally start to address the pressing issues of our time – a need to modernise digital health infrastructure, both private and public, focusing on standards and real-time information exchange at point of care. These are not just my observations; just about everyone working in the industry understands these problems, including the government itself within health departments and at the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA). And, of course, patients get it too. We all experience gross inefficiencies when we visit a doctor.

            Recently I learned from a colleague working at a primary health network (PHN), that no further details regarding the eligibility of the grant funding have been provided. The government has seemingly failed to establish eligibility criteria that effectively address the challenges faced by our healthcare system and specifically primary care and GP’s.  I don’t even think security of patient information is a requirement!

            Could have, should have – if only I had lobbied harder!

            Fast-tracking the benefits of a more connected healthcare system is crucial for improving patient care, reducing medical errors, and making healthcare more efficient. The adoption of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and other interoperability standards can enable seamless communication between different electronic health record systems, thus facilitating information exchange and collaboration among healthcare providers.

            Unfortunately, the current GP Grants Program does not set specific eligibility criteria that focus on the adoption of cloud, security, FHIR or other interoperability standards – not even clinical coding standards! As a result, the program risks missing a critical opportunity to substantially enhance digital health capabilities across GP practices.

            The government’s lack of focus on cloud services, security, FHIR and interoperability adoption is concerning, considering the many issues GP practices face due to siloed databases and technology platforms designed a couple of decades ago. The current state of healthcare data systems not only hinders efficient patient care but also creates additional administrative burdens on healthcare providers. By not setting clear eligibility criteria targeting these issues, the GP Grants Program will not bring about much-needed improvements in digital health and interoperability.

            Unfortunately, there is a history in the Australian healthcare industry for key stakeholders and decision makers to listen to the voice of the ‘market share’, rather than the innovators, start-ups and disruptors looking to make a difference. It’s a chicken and egg scenario, no market share equals no influence, no influence equals no change. If only I had lobbied harder for change!

            What could have been, should have been. Recommendations for Improvement

            To maximise the potential of the GP Grants Program, the Australian Government should have considered the following recommendations:

            1. Set clear eligibility criteria that prioritise funding for GP practices adopting cloud, security, FHIR and other interoperability standards to ensure a more connected healthcare system.
            2. Encourage collaboration between GP practices and technology vendors to develop innovative solutions that address the challenges of siloed databases and improve data sharing.
            3. Establish clear guidelines on how the grants can be used for enhancing digital health capabilities, including specific recommendations for addressing interoperability and data sharing challenges.
            4. Look to other jurisdictions like the US, which have successfully modernised their digital health ecosystem. The US implemented the 21st Century Cures Act in 2016 which was well funded, mandated standards, promoted innovation, stimulated research and development and encouraged the use and uptake of web-based API’s. This had the effect of uplifting an entire ecosystem and encouraging a raft of new digital health entrants.

            An Unintended Consequence: How the GP Grants Programme May Impede Digital Healthcare Reform

            While the additional funding provided by the GP Grants Programme is undoubtedly beneficial for practices, there is a valid concern that it may have unintended consequences.

            If practices invest grant money in outdated technologies, they essentially lock themselves into using these systems for the next 3-5 years, as assets typically depreciate over this period.

            This potential outcome of the GP Grants Program could have a perverse impact on the government’s ability to implement much-needed digital healthcare reforms. By inadvertently supporting continued use of outdated technology, the Program may slow the adoption of innovative solutions such as cloud, security, API’s, FHIR and interoperability standards. In turn, this could delay the realisation of a truly connected and efficient healthcare system, which is an urgent priority.

            It is disheartening to acknowledge that Australia is already lagging behind many other countries in terms of modern cloud-based digital health solutions. This funding, if not appropriately directed, will only serve to widen the gap between Australia and other nations leading the charge in healthcare innovation. The prospect of falling further behind should be a wake-up call for the government to re-evaluate the GP Grants Program and ensure it truly supports the advancement of digital health capabilities across the country.

            It is never too late!!

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              Communication the key to reducing hospital readmissions

              Communication the
              key to reducing
              hospital readmissions

              Can health tech help reduce hospital readmissions?

               

              According to a global research review, telehealth and virtual wards can certainly make a difference.

              The Deeble Institute — the research arm of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) — reviewed international research on the role of primary care in reducing hospital readmissions.

              In its Evidence Brief no. 24, the Institute says telehealth can be used to boost general practice involvement in hospital discharges and subsequent multidisciplinary virtual care, resulting in fewer unplanned readmissions.

              Unplanned readmissions are associated with poorer health outcomes, dissatisfaction with healthcare, increased costs, and bed blockages.

              The report highlighted research that showed improved communication and coordination of care between GPs, hospitals and/or pharmacists is effective.

              “Effective interventions included … electronic tools to facilitate quick, clear, and structured (health) summary generation… use of electronic discharge notifications; and web-based access to discharge information for general practitioners,” reported the Netherland’s Hesselink and colleagues.

              Virtual wards are another way to reduce risk of hospital readmissions and improve outcomes during hospital-to-home transition, with research indicating these can be effective with specific disease cohorts but less so with non-specific, complex diseases.

              The Evidence Brief contrasted virtual wards with Hospital in the Home (HITH). HITH is a form of remote hospital inpatient care whereas virtual wards facilitate transition from hospital care to home care.

              “Compared to HITH, virtual wards typically have a higher degree of interdisciplinary care coordination and review, are simpler in design and implementation, and have a broader scope of activities,” The Deeble Institute reported.

              “Transitional care is similar to virtual wards, but usually implemented within existing systems. Virtual wards typically require a completely new care pathway and potentially new organisations to manage its implementation.”

              MediRecords Connect provides FHIR (Fast Health Interoperability Resources) and API options for connectivity with hospital systems, including patient administration systems (PAS). MediRecords is deployed as an ePrescribing system at two Australian virtual emergency departments and as an outpatient billing and claiming system for Queensland Health. New functionality enabling multidisciplinary case management and inpatient care will be released later this year.

              MediRecords is also integrated with the Coviu telehealth platform for streamlined virtual consultations.

              Top three Technologies that reduce hospital admissions:

              Further reading

              ‘A wonderful day’: telehealth to become permanent

              Improving Patient Handovers From Hospital to Primary Care

              Consumer adoption of digital health in 2022: Moving at the speed of trust

              PARR++ is dead: long live predictive modelling

              Impact of ‘Virtual Wards’ on hospital use: a research study using propensity matched controls and a cost analysis

              Applying the Integrated Practice Unit Concept to a Modified Virtual Ward Model of Care for Patients at Highest Risk of Readmission: A Randomized Controlled Trial

              Effect of post-discharge virtual wards on improving outcomes in heart failure and non-heart failure populations: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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                MediRecords 2.0: New ways to Care, Connect and Engage
                 

                MediRecords 2.0: New ways to Care, Connect
                and Engage

                MediRecords 2.0 is the most comprehensive overhaul of our electronic patient record and clinic management system since we launched in Australia in 2016. While there have been many product updates over the years, MediRecords 2.0 is designed to use screen space better, streamline workflows, reduce administrative burn-out and support shared care.

                 

                MediRecords Head of Product Jayne Thompson says, “Innovation is as important to us as it is to our customers”. The 2.0 product update reflects this philosophy, introducing best-in-class user experience design and other client-driven enhancements, while reinforcing the foundations for next generation digital health connectivity.  

                Having grown beyond its origins as Australia’s pioneering, cloud-based practice management system, the MediRecords platform is now underpinned by three pillars: Care, Connect and Engage. Each of these will gain major new features during 2023.

                 

                Care

                The MediRecords Care pillar contains core clinical features such as patient records, ePrescribing, appointment management, investigations, billing and claiming, correspondence, and assessments. New Care functionality will include: 

                • Case Management – Members of a designated Care Team can view and update client case notes. This is particularly valuable where care is shared between a multidisciplinary team working from separate locations or across different shifts. For example, mental health practitioners can collaborate with GPs and rehabilitation specialists as patients progress towards a safe return to work. 
                • Group appointments – Patients will be able to book and join group sessions or classes. This feature will enable group therapy, family consultations and community health programs, with providers able to message an entire group or individual group members. 
                • New mental health and readiness for work assessment templates are being added, including the Glasgow Coma Scale. 
                • Single provider view of appointments: Clinicians practising across multiple clinics won’t have to jump between them to view their appointments. Appointments across multiple sites will be consolidated in a single view. 
                • New communication capability: Real time chat with team members will be available throughout MediRecords, making it easier to message team members on the fly. Our new Comms bar will also provide shortcuts to SMS, email, alerts, and notifications. 
                • Inpatients – In a major new premium* feature, MediRecords will be able to support complex care, including inpatient admissions, detailed charting, clinical escalations, progress notes and Discharge Summaries. 
                • Our Letter writer tool is having a makeover and will be even easier to use, with highly requested new functionality, such as digital signatures. 
                • We’ve added industry-leading means of recording Consent (or denial of consent) and made it easier to add attachments to patient records. 
                • Custom fields and Tagging can be used in patient records, creating new and innovative ways to capture information, search records and report on data. 

                 

                Connect 

                Many clients are familiar with our Connect site. MediRecords was an early adopter of FHIR (Fast Health Interoperability Resources) and API technology and new options for using these to share data are on the way. We have proven integrations with patient monitoring devices, patient-reported outcome and engagement measure systems (PROMs and PREMs), dictation technology and partner products. MediRecords is built on the SNOMED-CT-AU data coding system, which makes the data we share cleaner and primed for analytics. 

                • We now have FHIR integrations with enterprise products such as hospital patient administration systems (PAS) and scanned medical record software. This means a patient record created or updated in MediRecords can be pushed up into hospital systems, ensuring consistency of records and supporting better patient safety. Current options include allergies, medication requests and dispense notifications. 
                • New FHIR resources to be added throughout 2023 include referrals, diagnostic requests, diagnostic reports, and vital signs.  

                 

                Engage 

                MediRecords has already connected over 60,000 patients to healthcare records via our patient mobile app. This enables consumers to book appointments, see medication information, receive reports and educational resources, and access and store personal health documents. We’re taking this to the next level in 2023 with an entirely new patient engagement platform. This will include new features such as:  

                • Real time surveys and forms 
                • Clinical assessment and observations data for remote monitoring 
                • In-appointment chat functionality 
                • Secure web access to personal health data. 

                Frequently asked questions

                MediRecords 2.0 is an overhaul of our current platform rather than a new product. All existing customers will transition to 2.0. Sticking with the old MediRecords format will not be an option.

                We will perform the update remotely. Users won’t have to download or do anything.

                We have done our utmost to preserve familiarity and usual behaviour within the MediRecords application, but the new layout may take some adjustment. To help with this, we have been providing Lunch and Learn sessions for clients. Please reach out to our training team if you have any further questions, training.success@medirecords.com.

                Development will finish in March. Rigorous testing will follow before pilot sites switch to 2.0 in late April. Once we have considered their feedback, we’ll finalise the date for general release and shout it from the rooftops to let you know. 

                If you are a current client, please contact your Account Manager if you would like to be a test pilot for these new features. Limited places are available.  

                MediRecords 2.0 is an upgrade of your existing system and will be covered by usual licence fees. However, some of the optional new features will be Premium products and require additional fees. Details will be published as soon as possible. 

                 

                For other questions, please email support@medirecords.com.

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                  Federal Government digital health upgrade grants on the way

                  Federal Government digital health upgrade grants on the way

                  Update: 24 April 2023

                  New details are now available on the Strengthening Medicare General Practice Grants.

                  Grants of $25,000, $35,000 or $50,000 are available depending on practice size. The grants will be administered by your local Primary Health Network (PHN) or the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO). To take advantage of this funding, complete a grant application sourced via your PHN or NACCHO.

                   

                  MediRecords welcomes the news that Federal Government grants aimed at helping to enhance digital health capability for Medicare general practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) will become available from April. 

                   

                  General practices and ACCHS will be eligible for one-off grants of up to $50,000 for innovation, training, equipment, and minor capital works under three categories:

                  1. Enhance digital health capability – Accelerate moves to a more connected healthcare system that meets future standards;
                  2. Upgrade infection prevention and control arrangements – Ensure infectious respiratory disease (e.g. COVID, influenza) patients can be safely seen face-to-face; and/or
                  3. Maintain and/or achieve accreditation against the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for General Practice to promote quality and safety in health care.

                  The grants were an election promise from then opposition leader Anthony Albanese in May 2022. The Strengthening Medicare – GP Grants Program was subsequently allocated $220 million in the October 2022 federal budget.

                  Medicare general practice grants will be administered by local Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and ACCHS grants by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO). Practices and health services owned or operated by a state, territory or local government agency are ineligible.

                  MediRecords Chief Executive Officer Matthew Galetto welcomed the move and said he hoped it signalled a shift to better data connectivity between GPs and the broader health care system.

                  “We would like to see incentives for general practices to switch to the cloud, given the environmental, security and interoperability benefits that flow from leaving behind legacy software and hardware systems.”

                  Mr Galetto said the grants program was an opportunity for the Federal Government and PHNs to drive industry-wide reform and boost adoption of new technology platforms.

                  “Just as PIP (Practice Incentives Program) grants helped shift GPs from paper-based systems to electronic, this grant funding should seek to do the same for next generation interoperable technology.”

                  “This is bigger than improving the My Health Record. There is an opportunity to follow the United States example and provide genuine connectivity of digital health records for patients, from primary to tertiary care.”

                  MediRecords is a true cloud electronic health record system featuring global standards-based interoperability and SNOMED-CT-AU clinical coding. MediRecords pioneered cloud practice management software in Australia and is now used by general practitioners, specialists, multidisciplinary clinics, hospitals, and government departments.

                  Practices considering using their grant to upgrade to cloud clinical software are welcome to reach out to MediRecords. We provide onboarding services including training, data migration and configuration of electronic prescribing, telehealth integration, Medicare claiming and more.

                   

                   
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                    NetMD – How MediRecords has taken the remoteness away from general practice

                    How MediRecords has taken remoteness away from general practice.

                    Andrew Dyson MR Connect

                    Andrew Dyson, Digital Health Business Consultant

                    NetMD are a medical centre with a difference. Their aim is to use modern technology to deliver general practice.

                    NetMD do this, using MediRecords, Coviu and e-scripts, to offer medical teleconsultations online. Sixty percent of their consultations are now performed this way.


                    The Challenge

                    “I was working with Medical Director,” says NetMD general practitioner, Dr Leo Gunaseelan, “It cost $80 to $100K to install, plus a technician to fly from Cairns to do this at $3K a day, and yearly maintenance costs of $15 to $20K. With MediRecords I can manage everything myself, and I don’t need anyone’s help. I have freedom.”

                    Dr Gunaseelan specialises in family medicine and rural medical care. He runs NetMD as an online teleconsulting service to ensure he is accessible to patients, no matter where they are based.

                    “I have been working with MediRecords for five years,” says Dr Gunaseelan, “They are great, and have good support staff. MediRecords are fully cloud-based and I never need to take a day off. I have one week away a month and just work from wherever I am. That way, my patients don’t miss out on treatment.”


                    How is MediRecords Used?

                    Patients don’t need any special equipment to access NetMD services– just a phone, and a mobile or internet signal.

                    “Patients love it,” says Dr Gunaseelan, “You don’t need high quality internet- just a satellite signal will do. Patients don’t need to come into the practice. I can provide my services to them from anywhere in the world, and it’s working well.”

                    Dr Gunaseelan has been practicing for over 30 years, throughout rural New Zealand, Europe and the remote mining regions of Australia.

                    “My work with Rio Tinto involves looking after patients from Tasmania and remote Queensland. I can train medical staff in the mines to use and read the medical equipment, and then I can read the results from wherever I am. Remoteness has been taken away.”

                    Patients can also book consultations on the NetMD website and use the MediRecords app to access test results straight away.

                    “The app is the main point of difference,” says Dr Gunaseelan, “I have 3,000 patients, and they all use it and check it regularly. Before, I had a nurse, who was only looking after recalls by phone and mail. Now I don’t need her- I just click a couple of buttons and a text is sent to my patient with a link to make an appointment. It’s as perfectly simple as that.”

                    In addition, MediRecords provides health to visitors to Dr Gunaseelan’s general practice.

                    “I look after about 15,000 tourists every year,” says Dr Gunaseelan, “In two minutes they have the prescription they need emailed to their phone. They always say, ‘wow, why don’t we have this at home?’”


                    Looking Forward

                    Dr Gunaseelan is so pleased with MediRecords that he plans to expand the reach of his services.

                    “I want to widen the breath of services we offer online, with payments being made available online, and I’m also working to integrate a YouTube channel by the end of next year,” says Dr Gunaseelan, “I want to extend my services to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Samoa. I want to provide services for people that don’t have access. I have always wanted to do this, I just didn’t know how.”

                    “It’s a great program,” says Dr Gunaseelan, “If I could, I would promote MediRecords to anyone. They improve general practice immensely.”

                    For more information on NetMD and Dr Gunaseelan’s work visit netmd.com.au.

                    To find out how MediRecords can support your organisation to expand into virtual care and telehealth services, you can contact Michael Alldrick on email at michael@medirecords.com.

                    Andrew Dyson MR Connect

                    Andrew Dyson, Digital Health Business Consultant

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