MediRecords Product Update: Consent Module
 

Product update:
Consent Module

MediRecords is excited to announce another product update, the Consent Module.

The Consent Module addresses a critical need in healthcare – the need to capture and store electronic consent forms (and help make clipboards and paper-based questionnaires a thing of the past). 

MediRecords’ Consent Module has the flexibility to record consent for various procedure types or investigations. The Consent module is per-patient and used to capture and store the Consent type, scope, and associated documentation required (coming soon). 

It shows exactly what the patient has provided consent for or rejected. This includes concepts such as Advanced Care Directives, information disclosure to third parties, acceptance of privacy policies and more. 

You can open this new feature via a new tab at the top of the patient record, for quick viewing access. Potential ways to use the Consent Module include: 

  1. New Patient Registration form – patients can sign consent for a practice to begin collecting their medical information 
  2. Advanced Care Directive – patient provides consent for their care if they become unable to make these decisions themselves 
  3. Procedural consent – Useful in pre-admission workflows – consent for upcoming procedures or treatment 
  4. Do Not Resuscitate – orders given by the patient not to resuscitate if they fall unconscious

Future enhancements are imminent for this feature. In future releases you will be able to upload a Consent document directly to the Consent record, so that you can store paper consent forms along with electronic records.  

To learn more about the Consent Module and how you can implement it for your business, please follow the link to our Knowledge Base articles below or contact our friendly Support team. 

If you have feedback on our new feature, please reach out to your account manager. We would love to hear from you!  

Consent Module Support Knowledge Base article 

 All new customers are welcome to book a demonstration to learn how MediRecords can support your organisation today

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    MediRecords Product Update: Work Lists & User Groups
     

    Product update:
    Work Lists &
    User Groups

    MediRecords launches Work Lists and User Groups

    A lot of product development has been happening here at MediRecords, and we’re excited to launch two new features with you – Work Lists and User Groups!

    Works Lists and User Groups will assist staff in creating efficiencies across their day by helping them keep track of and set due dates for work items, and ensure tasks are completed on time. This feature will also allow staff to create work items for individuals or a group of their colleagues to complete.  

    Through Work Lists, you can create a list of Tasks and Clinical Actions and then share the list with a group of users. When a Task or Clinical Action is marked as completed by someone in the user group, this will update the item for all users assigned to the group. 

    Benefits: 

    • Keep track of work items in MediRecords, so other staff can assist if a colleague is absent. 
    • Comprehensive medicolegal audit trail, storing activity records against a patient.  
    • Drive efficiencies in daily activities through setting due dates for Tasks, Clinical Actions and Work Lists, and receive notifications of upcoming work items that are due for completion. 
    • Manage patient-centred workflows such as Care Plan-related tasks and other chronic disease management programs.  

    Worklists:  

    Work Lists allow you to create Tasks and Clinical Actions to track the ongoing care of single or multiple patients. Each activity is stored against the patient record, providing a comprehensive medicolegal audit for items related to patient care, both clinical and administrative.  

    For example, if a nurse needs to make observations of multiple patients on a particular day, completing this via a Work List will streamline the process and ensure that each time the nurse updates a completed task, it will be saved against the patients’ clinical record.  

    Work Lists can also be printed as a day sheet of items to complete, making it easy for staff to work through their daily requirements. 

     

    User Groups:  

    Create groups of users to send Clinical Actions, Tasks, or Work Lists to multiple team members. For example, once set up, you can now send a task to all nurses at once, notifying all users in that group. When a user in that group updates the task, this will update the item for all users assigned to the group. 

    To learn more about Work Lists and User Groups and how you can implement them in your business today, follow the links to our Knowledge Base articles below or contact our friendly Support team. 

     We look forward to hearing how you’re using this handy new functionality. 

    Work Lists and User Groups Support Knowledge Base article links: 

     All new customers are welcome to book a demonstration to learn how MediRecords can support your organisation today. 

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      FHIRing up the Australian Defence Force
       

      FHIRing up the Australian Defence Force

      Hear how FHIR is connecting the entire Defence health ecosystem with OntoServer at its heart!

       
      At the recent Inaugural Australasian CXO Healthcare Cloud Summit in Sydney, MediRecords CEO and Founder, Matthew Galetto, presented a case study on how FHIR is connecting the entire Defence health ecosystem. 
       
      View the video below! 
       
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        Taking the pulse on digital health
         

        Taking the pulse on
        digital health

        MediRecords attended a packed Digital Health Festival in an icy Melbourne on 31 May and 1 June. The conference was the largest face-to-face event since the pandemic and attracted international speakers and delegates from across Australia.

         

        A recurrent theme was that telehealth has been normalised during the pandemic and is now an everyday tool for doctors and specialists. But while digital and virtual care technology is widely used, too many systems still don’t share information and healthcare professionals are fed up with having to use multiple, disconnected products.

        Here are some snapshots from the festival:

        Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Amanda Cattermole said the agency remains committed to a connected healthcare system through which data passes, “seamlessly, safely and securely”. Ms Cattermole said a new National Digital Health Strategy is imminent and that the ADHA has three key roles:

        1. Creating a collaborative environment that accelerates adoption of digital technology, including stewarding and supporting state government initiatives.
        2. Building and providing ‘infrastructure glue’ that is FHIR enabled, web-based and includes a new health API gateway to national digital health systems, due by the end of 2022.
        3. Co-designing a governance framework, or the ‘guardrails’ for a national healthcare interoperability plan.

        ADHA projects under way also include:

        • a national digital children’s health record, replacing state-based systems
        • a framework for sharing population health data ethically and securely
        • a national digital imaging platform for diagnostic medical imaging, and
        • a My Health Record mobile app.
        Dr Paresh Dawda, Director and Principal at Prestantia Health and Next Practice in Canberra, illustrated the importance of user experience design and interoperable health data systems by talking about a typical work day. Dr Dawda spends an estimated eight minutes every morning logging into 16 different clinical systems. Cumulatively that’s more than 30 hours per year that he can’t spend on patient care and the cost to his business could be $9800 per clinician per year. While digital technology, “is often held up as the solution to clinician burnout, it can also be part of the problem”, he said. True interoperability would mean clinicians could use fewer systems to access the same amount of data, freeing time to dedicate to patient care.
         

        My Emergency Doctor founder and Medical Director Justin Bowra explained how virtual ED doctors help improve patient flow and reduce clinical risks at hospitals and urgent care centres. Dr Bowra said MED clinicians conduct case conferences via video calls, including reviewing the status of patients waiting in ambulances. The case conferences enable patient flow decisions that reduce ED wait times, such as advising that patients can go direct to theatre. The service also provides clinical decision support and mentoring to on-site doctors and an auditable recording of all interactions.

        Caligo Health Managing Director Dr Amandeep Hansra said the COVID-19 pandemic had catapulted digital health innovation forward by at least a decade, creating created consumers who are actively engaged in their care and demand access to and control of personal data. The pandemic had also created a mountain of data — 30% of global data comes from health — that could be the foundation for scalable analytics and AI-driven businesses. 

        e-Health Queensland Health Deputy Director General Damian Green walked festival goers through the Sunshine State’s digital strategy, emphasising the importance of human-centered design and delivering equitable healthcare access for First Nations peoples and diverse communities. Mr Green said clinicians were required to work with too many products and ‘system sustainability’ would necessitate fewer systems with the requisite data for better decision making. He said safety was at the heart of all digital investment decisions and told vendors, “if you can show you are going to improve outcomes, then talk to us.”

        Victorian Department of Health Chief Digital Officer Neville Board placed patient safety as the destination for the Garden State’s digital health roadmap. Mr Board said reducing risks to patients caused by paper-based processes was a major priority and showed how e-prescribing significantly reduces risks of medication errors. Victoria has also committed to a Health Information Exchange that enables interchange of information between all hospitals.

        Neville Board placed patient safety as the destination for the Garden State’s digital health roadmap. Mr Board said reducing risks to patients caused by paper-based processes was a major priority and showed how e-prescribing significantly reduces risks of medication errors. Victoria has also committed to a Health Information Exchange that enables interchange of information between all hospitals.

        Victorian Chief Digital Officer Neville Board highlights the risks of handwritten medication notes.

        Alcidion CEO Kate Quirke said procurement processes in Australia were a deterrent to innovation and that many Proof of Concept projects did not proceed to implementation because contractual requirements were too onerous.

        Former Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth said healthcare start-ups need to be thoroughbreds capable of going the distance, rather than flashy unicorns. And the secret to designing an enduring product? Make sure you’re solving problems for patients and their families.

        Dr Emma Rees, Founder and CEO of women’s healthcare platform Femma, said health care should not cease when a patient leaves the room and be suspended until a follow-up appointment. Dr Rees said “the future of healthcare is a hybrid model” where patients have clinically curated, individual management plans and on-demand access to education materials and nutritional, exercise, mindfulness and yoga programs.

        Image courtesy of ResApp

        Australian start-up ResApp has developed a digital diagnostic app for respiratory illnesses, available on mobile devices. The ResApp tool listens to a patient cough five times and then sends a report direct to a GP. ResApp CEO Dr Tony Keating said trials in India and the US had shown a high level of accuracy in diagnosing COVID-19. Using the app for initial diagnosis could make up to 80% of RAT and PCR testing unnecessary, bringing immediate benefits for patients, cost savings for governments and environmental benefits. 

        The Global Healthcare Lead for Zoom, Ron Emerson, said research by a leading US healthcare provider had shown that 70 per cent of patients attending at urgent care facilities could be safely seen by a virtual health care clinician, helping to relieve pressures on overcrowded hospitals. Zoom is now being used by prestigious US healthcare organisations, including the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins and New York Presbyterian hospitals.

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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.

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            MediRecords Product Update August 2021
             

            MediRecords Product Update: August 2021

            Fee Bidder - Headshot cropped

            Fee Bidder, Junior Product Owner

            See what we’ve been working on and released over the last month...

            We are excited to announce the recent changes and updates we have released into the Medirecords product. Below you will find a summary of each of the changes we have made. 

            Increased File Size Upload Limit

            The file size limit has been increased across MediRecords, to allow you to upload larger file sizes. This change affects the following areas within MediRecords:

            • Clinical Drawings (Patient Clinical & Resources)
            • Patient Clinical – New Correspondence In
            • Patient Clinical – Correspondence Out (imported documents)
            • Secure Messaging Inbox
            • Secure Messaging Outbox
            • Investigation Results
            • Bulk Scan Upload
            • Referrals

            Provider Number Added to Health Professionals Grid

            You may now view the provider number for a contact from within the Health Professionals grid within Resources. 

            Interested Parties & Usual GP Mail Merge Fields Added

            New mail merge fields have been added to the letter editor, so you may now import a patient’s Interested Parties and Usual GP directly from the patient’s record. These fields are found within the Patient table when editing a template or letter. When using these fields, the following will occur:

            Interested Parties:

            • The Provider’s name and Provider Number will be imported (if recorded against the Contact record).
            • The Category of Referrer will display if the party were recorded in the Referral section in Patient Details.
            • Any notes recorded for the Interested Parties will be displayed in the Details field.

            Usual GP:

            • The Interested Party marked as the patient’s Usual GP in their Interested Parties will be displayed.

             

            Search by Provider Number on Health Professionals Grid

            You may now search by a provider by entering their provider number into the search bar available at the top of the Health Professionals grid. Results will be returned when you have entered a minimum of 3 characters from the beginning of the provider number. 

            Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS21) EPC Template Added

            The DASS21 form is now available as an EPC template within the consultation window. Answering the questions will provide a scoring for each category, and an overall scoring with appropriate diagnosis.

             

            Chronological Appointment Agenda View

            The Agenda view in Appointments will now display all appointments in chronological order, rather than grouping the appointments by provider. This improvement aims to improve the Agenda’s usefulness when looking to see the appointments booked for a certain patient, or provider.

             

            Stickiness Implemented in Contacts Area

            When searching in the Health Professionals or Service Provider grids, you will no longer lose your search term after opening and closing a record. This assists with finding the correct contact record where a contact may have multiple records for different locations.

             

            Stickiness in Filters Applied for Tasks/Activities

            When applying filters within the Tasks/Activities window, you will now be able to apply separate filters for each patient.

            These changes have come about from customers like you, who have given us their feedback.  MediRecords is committed to continuous improvement to allow for ease of use of our product, so if you have any feedback, please let your account manager know!

            See you next month for more exciting new features and functions within MediRecords.

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              MediRecords Product Update July 2021

              MediRecords Product Update: July 2021

              Fee Bidder - Headshot cropped

              Fee Bidder, Junior Product Owner

              See what we’ve been working on and released over the last month...

              We are excited to announce the recent changes and updates we have released into the Medirecords product. Below you will find a summary of each of the changes we have made. 

              Observations Improvements

              Improvements have been made to the Observations function, so that all observations may now appear within the timeline graph view, rather than a selected amount, improving visibility of a patient’s health over time.

               

              Percentile Value Added to Observations Grid

              The PCT value will now display within the Observations grid when the Percentile tick-box has been selected.

               

              Added Hover Information to Timeline View

              Hovering over an entry in the Observation Timeline view will now display the percentile value, the user who created the entry, and the date of entry.

              Appointment Book Username Update

              Provider usernames have been updated within the Appointment Book to display First and Surname. If a status has been added to the provider and their full name exceeds the character limit, then only the provider’s surname will be displayed alongside the status.

              Given Field Added to Immunisations Grid

              The Given Field is now available within the Immunisation Grid, so you may tell at a quick glance whether an immunization was given elsewhere, given within the clinic, or if the immunization was declined.

               

              Practice Wide Patient Chat

              Users may now view all chat threads on a Patient Record Dashboard, regardless of who created the chat message or received it. This ensures that all chat correspondence is available on the Patient Record for all users.

               

              Comments Added to Investigations Grid

              Now when viewing the Investigations grid, you may see any Comments that have been added to a result item. A preview of the comments will be displayed where space allows, and hovering over the preview will show the entire comment.

               

              My Health Record Fields Added to Encounter Form

              Checkboxes have been added to the Encounter Form, for “Uploaded to My Health Record”, and “Health Summary Sent to GP”, for practices using My Health Record functionality.

               

              Activities Filter Change

              Activities will now be ordered by earliest due date first in both the patient record and within the Activities/Tasks window, to improve the prioritisation of Activities.

               

              New Print Letter Button Location within Letter Editor

              The Print button has been moved from within the More menu, to it’s own button above the letter, to improve the speed of printing letters.

               

              Fee Schedule Updates

              The following fund schedules have been successfully uploaded into Medirecords, and are available immediately. 

              • AHSA
              • BUPA
              • BUPA Diagnostic
              • DVA
              • HBF
              • Medibank Private
              • Mildura Health
              • NIB
              • St Luke’s

              These changes have come about from customers like you, who have given us their feedback.  MediRecords is committed to continuous improvement to allow for ease of use of our product.

              See you next month for more exciting new features and functions within MediRecords.

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                MediRecords Product Update June 2021

                MediRecords Product Update: June 2021

                Fee Bidder - Headshot cropped

                Fee Bidder, Junior Product Owner

                See what we’ve been working on and released over the last month...

                We are excited to announce the recent changes and updates we have released into the Medirecords product. Below you will find a summary of each of the changes we have made. 

                Batch and Expiry Fields Added to Custom Drug Recipes

                When creating or editing a drug recipe, you may now add your own batch number and expiry. Once a drug has passed the expiry date set within the recipe, you will not be able to prescribe this drug again.

                 

                Alcohol and Smoking Indicators in Patient Screen

                You may now review the alcohol and smoking status of a patient easily, due to 2 new icons added to the patient field. Provided a patient has their alcohol and smoking status recorded within the Tobacco and Alcohol sections of the patient file, these icons will be displayed beside the patient’s date of birth. Hovering over these icons will provide additional information.

                 

                Unchecked Mail within Patient Record

                Now when you click on the unchecked mail icon within the patient record, you will be directed to the appropriate result or secure message in question for quick review.

                 

                Additional Claim Type – Scheme – AGC (Access Gap Cover)

                Scheme-AGC has been added as a default claim type within the ECLIPSE configuration window found within Preferences > ECLIPSE. More information on the Access Gap Cover claiming process can be found here: https://www.ahsa.com.au/web/doctors/agc

                 

                Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) July

                During July, Medicare released a schedule containing a significant number of item number removals, modifications, and additional items. This has been successfully uploaded into Medirecords, and be used immediately. The majority of the changes were related to Telehealth, Cardiac & Orthopaedic item numbers. For more information on the MBS changes, please view the Medicare website.

                These changes have come about from customers like you, who have given us their feedback.  MediRecords is committed to continuous improvement to allow for ease of use of our product.

                See you next month for more exciting new features and functions within MediRecords.

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                  MediRecords Product Update May 2021

                  Product Update May 2021

                  MediRecords Product Update: May 2021

                  Megan Harker

                  Megan Harker, Support Team Lead

                  See what we’ve been working on and released over the last few weeks...

                  Telehealth Appointments Now Supported by Appointment Widget

                  We’ve also introduced some changes to the way our Appointment Widget supports Telehealth Appointments.  These appointments can now be made online and the link for the appointment will be sent to the patient in their confirmation SMS. 
                  Please ensure your Telehealth appointments are configured correctly to appear on your website’s widget.  

                   

                  Free Text Start Time 

                  We’ve introduced the ability to free text appointment times when making or editing appointments.  The new function lets you type into the appointment time field more specific start times, and also allows you to use 24 hour time which then converts to an AM or PM time in the appointment book.  

                   

                  Filter Letters and Templates

                  You can now add a filter within the MediRecords Letter Templates search table to indicate that you want to search within your favourites.  This will allow you to create a search within only your preferred resources.

                   

                  Resources are now Alphabetized

                  Letters and favourites are now alphabetized in the letter editor, meaning ease of use for our customers.

                  New Fields Added to Provider Billing Activity Reports

                  To allow for greater visibility, two new fields have been added to the Provider Billing Activity Report.  ADJ – which shows the amount of adjustments or write offs to the invoice and Outstanding which allows for more visibility of the amount outstanding on the invoice.

                  Configure Button Has Moved

                  We’ve recently moved the Configure option from the More menu to a button on the sub menu when setting up new users.  This will reduce the amount of clicks needed to configure new staff for practices.

                   

                  Letter Writer Improvements

                  Several new fields have been added to the letter writer mail merge library including reason for visit, notes associated with medical conditions including current, past and selected, preferred name and all providers.

                   

                  Patient Header 

                  The hover state on the patient header is now shown in full without having to scroll up or down.

                  Drug Recipe

                  Your custom drug recipes now support more than 6 ingredients.

                  Unread Mail Indicator

                  On the patient record there is now an alert to show if this patient has any unread correspondence in any of the provider’s inboxes.  Click here to learn more.

                   

                  Prescribing Approval Process

                  Prescribed authority prescriptions functionality has been improved with additional information now displayed on the approval screen including: Hotline Number, Patient Name, Patient Medicare Number, Patient DVA, Prescriber Number, Authority Form No and Authority item.

                  These changes have come about from customers like you, who have given us their feedback.  MediRecords is committed to continuous improvement to allow for ease of use of our product.

                  See you next month for more exciting new features and functions within MediRecords.

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                    Feedback from GPs on the Front Line

                    Michelle O'Brien Profile Picture

                    Feedback from GPs on the front line:
                    How does the budget announcement respond to the challenges identified in the Aged Care Royal Commission?

                    Michelle O'Brien Profile Picture

                    Michelle O'Brien, Head of Strategy

                    Doctor

                    Following the Royal Commission into Quality and Safety in Aged Care, $365.7 million has been allocated to improve the care and quality of the aged care system in the 2021 budget

                    While the new funding model clearly caters for employment in residential aged care facilities, what is less clear is how it may fund technology in the aged care sector.

                    We asked two GP’s, who have been using the MediRecords Cloud EMR, for feedback on some of the challenges they have faced providing care to residents in an Aged Care setting and what they believe needs to change. Both have highlighted the important roles that cloud technology and interoperability must play, by improving outcomes for patients by breaking down barriers to accessing care and to delivering a single source of truth.

                    The Doctors

                    Dr Paresh Dawda, Principal of Prestantia Health, is a General Medical Practitioner, academic and researcher with expertise in clinical leadership, quality and patient safety improvement. He is piloting video consultations with four residential aged care facilities to enhance access for unscheduled care needs.

                    Dr Gaveen Jayarajan has 13 years working in general practice, including four years working in both public and private hospitals throughout Australia. He has experience in both corporate and clinical governance for patient safety and quality care.

                    Improvements to Funding Models

                    “The funding model of primary care in Australia is predominantly a fee for service model and requires face-to-face visits from the GP. It does not provide much opportunity for a team-based approach to care,” says Dr Paresh Dawda, “A large amount of activity to effectively deliver care of those in residential aged care facilities can be undertaken in a safe way, remotely; however, current funding does not provide rebates for non face-to-face care delivery. This limits the level of innovation we can undertake.”

                    “There are definitely improvements that could be made to funding models to assist general practitioners in providing virtual and in-person care,” says Dr Gaveen Jayarajan. “Telephone, telehealth and mental health item numbers have helped, giving a Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS)-funded option when working remotely, but there is still a lot of non-Medicare rebated work done in aged care that we don’t do as much when working in medical centres.”

                    “The use of telehealth for specialist consultations is an opportunity to improve access to specialist for residents of residential aged care facilities,” says Dr Dawda, “The current MBS item numbers for telehealth are too restrictive and not fit for purpose. There is not one right model, so a blended payment model is needed.”

                    Aged Care Policies

                    Reforms to the policies and processes in the aged care sector have also been called out as an area not funded in the federal budget, but not everyone agrees.

                    “The continuity model of care is still the most predominant in aged care, but is increasingly challenging from a financial sustainability and value perspective, “ says Dr Dawda, “Healthcare delivery systems need to be reengineered with care organised around either discrete conditions or in primary care defined population types. This is the model of care that Prestantia Health is evolving.”

                    “Altering case conference item number criteria would help significantly and improve family engagement and communication,” says Dr Jayarajan, “An annual lump sum payment to compensate for this work would also help. This would also provide a significant financial impetus for residential aged care facility work. It would have immediate impact, rather than large wide-sweeping changes.”

                    Can cloud infrastructure help?

                    Cloud infrastructure can deliver better healthcare systems at a lower cost, but funding is again not aligned. This is stopping models of care that lead to better outcomes for patients.

                    “We believe that our model of care is having a positive impact and are collating data to evaluate benefits and viability of the model,” says Dr Dawda, “The use of a shared cloud based electronic health record, with reminders and recalls, supports informational continuity of care between team members. Those residential aged care facilities that use electronic records vary in that some can only be accessed on site using a terminal, a personal device if connected to secure Wi-Fi, remotely through complex VPN solutions or using a browser. The latter enables greatest effectiveness and efficiency from a general practitioner perspective as it enables us to copy and paste the clinical record from our clinical system into that of the residential aged care facilities.”

                     

                    “I believe the future of aged care is in greater technology adoption across all care settings,” says Dr Jayarajan. “Residential aged care facilities need to move to cloud-based administrative, clinical and medication management software. This software is interoperable with cloud-based general practitioner software and data can seamlessly be pulled and pushed between each other. All of this is built to be viewable on any device, particularly smartphones. Smart sensors are built into every residents room to provide early detection of emerging risks.”

                    New Models of Care

                    Ideally, the future of the aged care sector will include technology that assists delivery of care, regardless of the setting.

                    My vision is for a model of care that includes team based care, is general practitioner led, goals orientated and measured by patient reported measures,” says Dr Dawda, “It uses purposeful interoperable technology, models that value non-face to face activity and is and integrated record with interoperability. Clinical decision support systems that are intelligent, virtual care and a flexible funding model are key.”

                    “Remote care through telehealth by general practitioners and specialists becomes more routine and more easily facilitated with technology,” says Dr Jayarajan, “As does the ability for general practitioners to make house calls.”

                    What about other GPs?

                    As a group, general practitioners are making their views known publically in the hope of influencing reform in the aged care sector. Key recommendations from the ‘Doctors in Aged Care’ Facebook group include:

                    1. Formation of local ‘Clinical Governance Committees’ at each residential aged care facility with direct feedback of outcomes and actions to senior management and general practitioner participation
                    2. Accreditors to obtain feedback from general practitioners at their visits
                    3. Mandatory admission case conference for all new residents followed by an annual case conference thereafter utilising existing Medicare item numbers
                    4. General practitioner invitation and involvement in additional case conferences held during the year as clinically indicated, with amendment to Medicare item numbers 735, 739, 743, 747, 750 and 758 to facilitate increased utilisation
                    5. All residential aged care providers to move to full electronic health records, with a preference for cloud-based software, for their residents within two years.
                    6. Introduction of new Medicare item numbers for general practitioners visiting residential aged care facilities for telehealth consultations directly with facility nurses and family members regarding their patients
                    7. Retention in full of the Aged Care Access Incentive
                    8. Amending of Medicare descriptors for aged care attendance item numbers – items 90020, 90035, 90043 and 90051 – to allow for the full work required for the consultation.
                     
                     

                    What steps does the budget take?

                    The 2021 budget announcement aims to benefit more than 240,000 Australians living in residential aged care through a $365.7m investment. This is split as follows, as found here:

                    1. $42.8 million to boost the Aged Care Access Incentive from 1 July 2021 to increase face-to-face servicing by general practitioners (GPs) within residential aged care facilities.
                    2. $37.3 million in additional funding for the Greater Choice for At Home Palliative Care initiative to expand to all 31 Primary Health Networks, from the 11 Primary Health Networks previously participating in the pilot.
                    3. $178.9 million for Primary Health Networks to utilise their regional expertise and on the ground capabilities to support the health of senior Australians. This will enable:
                      • telehealth care for aged care residents
                      • enhanced out of hours support for residential aged care
                      • dementia pathways to support assessment and referral, and
                      • early monitoring and identification of health needs to support people to live at home for longer.
                    4. $23.6 million is being provided to build a better data and evidence base to enable the Government to conduct workforce and other planning.
                    5. $45.4 million to address widespread issues associated with poor medication management in residential aged care
                     

                    Whilst there is some mention of digital health services such as telehealth, and potential references to remote patient monitoring, what is missing is the provision for interoperable patient management platforms. As outlined by Dr Dawda and Dr Jayarajan, connecting the aged care facility, primary care and acute setting will be crucial to providing the required care and keeping patients out of hospital.

                    If you are interested in finding out more about how MediRecords’ cloud EMR product, ConnectEMR, can support you, get in touch with me via michelle.obrien@medirecords.com.

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