Canterbury people to benefit from health info sharing system

Press Release – Westcoast DHB

A new way of sharing health information will be introduced in Canterbury later this month. Called the Shared Care Record View or eSCRV for short, the system takes certain patient information and makes it available to authorised doctors, nurses and pharmacists …October 7, 2011

Canterbury people to benefit from new health information sharing system

A new way of sharing health information will be introduced in Canterbury later this month.

Called the Shared Care Record View or eSCRV for short, the system takes certain patient information and makes it available to authorised doctors, nurses and pharmacists providing care for the same patient, instead of having to record it separately each time.

Spokesperson for the project team, Dr Nigel Millar, Canterbury District Health Board chief medical officer, says the eSCRV system will provide benefits for both patients and health professionals.

“When Christchurch people are unwell, an up-to-date summary of their health history will be available to the clinical staff caring for them,” Dr Millar says.

The care provided to patients will be based on accurate, up-to-date information fed into the system from a range of health professionals.

“This means faster diagnosis, treatment and care will be possible leading to better outcomes,” he says.

“While much of this health information is routinely collected at the moment, the eSCRV provides a secure system for sharing key patient information between health professionals.”

Dr Millar says it will be invaluable in an emergency situation.

“If a patient turns up in the hospital emergency department, the doctor treating that patient will be able to log in to the eSCRV to see a range of information immediately including: a summary of medical conditions and date of last GP visit; medical diagnoses; details of medications recently dispensed at a community pharmacy and information about home care visits including care coordination information, who the provider is and the allocation of care,” he says

The eSCRV system is being introduced in two phases. The first phase starts on October 12, with a small number of pharmacies, Nurse Maude and Canterbury District Health Board sharing information. The system will be fully functional by the end of December when information from Canterbury GPs will also be available for authorised clinicians to view.

“The project was initiated after the February 22 earthquake. A need was identified to develop a robust system to enable secure access to a patient’s essential health information. eSCRV will make that information available to the key providers of an individual’s healthcare.”

Dr Millar says only authorised health professionals in Christchurch can access the information, which will be kept safe and confidential.

“There are a number of protections built in to manage the privacy of information.”

If patients do not want their health information shared in this way they can “opt off” the system by calling freephone 0508 837 872 or telling the GP, pharmacist, hospital doctor or district nurse treating them. They can also email testsafesouth@cdhb.govt.nz

“This systems provides real benefits for patients and I’m delighted that the health professionals working throughout the Canterbury Health System have shown their ‘can do’ attitude to get this system off the ground,” Dr Millar says.

A small project team including people from Pegasus Health (representing the majority of Christchurch GPs) community pharmacy, the Nurse Maude Association and CDHB have worked together on this project to improve patient care across the system.

The technology behind the eSCRV system has been developed to meet the needs of clinicians in Canterbury by Orion Healthcare Limited. There are numerous security features in the system so people can be assured their health information is private and confidential and will only be viewed by authorised clinicians.

ENDS

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