For many GPs, the term ‘digital health’ elicits a middle digit response. From My Health Record to electronic referrals, there can be frustration over the point of it all. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
The planets are beginning to align. Clinical information produced by various health providers is gradually being stored in a way that can be shared more easily. Radiology and pathology reports will soon be available on My Health Record, saving thousands in duplicated investigations. GPs now have access to Queensland Health pathology and imaging reports via the Health Provider Portal.
Sending clinical information electronically is becoming the norm. It is more secure, and in the era of NBN, much more reliable than fax. Secure electronic messaging is free and easy to set up, and integrates with all practice management software. More importantly, it is a vital stepping stone on the journey to a new “smart” referral system coming to Queensland in the next few months.
Are you one of the 300 or so GPs currently using Sunshine Coast Health Pathways? If so help us improve it by completing our brief survey.
Dr Jon Harper