Regional patients to benefit from digital health system
March 15, 2016 1956 Views

Regional patients to benefit from digital health system

BY KIRSTIE FITZPATRICK

BATHURST residents can look forward to the possibility of a new digital health record system following the Federal Government’s announcement of the My Health Record program.

My Health Record, formally known as the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR), is a secure opt-out electronic database that stores medical information for patients.

Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, launched the My Health Record program earlier this month with Lithgow Hospital named a trial location for the new opt-out system.

Although Bathurst hasn’t yet been named a trial location, Peter Edwards, the Rural EHealth Implementation Lead for the Western NSW Local Health District said he hopes to see the program implemented locally.

“If there’s another trial that needs to happen, I’m hoping a hospital in this district will be chosen.

Bathurst Base Hospital in the Western NSW Local Health District. Source: publik.fotki.com

Bathurst Base Hospital in the Western NSW Local Health District. Source: publik.fotki.com

If all goes well with the Lithgow and Blue Mountains trials, I hope it can be adopted nationwide,” he said.

Mr Edwards said the benefits of My Health Record assist both patients and medical professionals.

“Today, not many people have time to sign up, the way to get them to sign up is showing them the benefits. We can treat patients adequately and probably treat them quicker. Patients don’t have to remember everything because like Chinese whispers, the story always gets twisted a little,” he said.

“With the EHealth system, this won’t be an issue.”

According to a Department of Health spokesperson, if the Lithgow trial produces a positive outcome, hospitals in the Western NSW Local Health District could be considered as trial zones for the program.

“The Western NSW Local Health District have brand new medical facilities so the EHealth system would be an extension of these facilities. It means a mail system isn’t required and this will benefit regional and rural patients who travel for specialists as documentation will already be there,” he said.

The Department of Health spokesperson said the new electronic system is a safe and secure way of accessing medical documents.

“The system is designed with your privacy in mind, sensitive information can be hidden and you’re always informed when someone accesses your record,” he said.

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