Care Insight, a joint development by Healthlink and DrInfo, will enable hospitals to share patient information in a virtual model without requiring a central repository.
Using Microsoft .Net sockets integrated with HL7 messaging across a secure network, Care Insight will enable hospital emergency department physicians to securely query a patient’s general health record or pharmacy record to provide a picture of the patient’s current health status, within three seconds.
The virtual health record system allows doctors to pull together summary medical records from a number of practices and pharmacies, giving a full summary of the patient’s current medication, allergies and medical problems, from any of the practices he or she may have attended during the past year.
The Hawkes Bay District Health Board is currently trialling the system.
“We became involved early this year,” says Hawkes Bay DHB IS manager Vidhya Makam. “It came to the attention of our chief medical officer, and we decided around April to trial it because it was not used elsewhere.”
The trial was initially expected to take two months but was extended to six months as it took two months to set up the system at the general practitioner end, according to Makam.
Getting access to patient information held in GP’s systems is beneficial when providing emergency or acute care to patients, especially after hours when the normal channels of communication with GPs are not available, she says.
Makam stresses that the patient is first advised and consent is sought before the information is accessed.
“Only authorised health professionals can access the information, and the GP with whom the patient is registered is advised of the access. The information is limited to their allergies, alerts, recent prescriptions and diagnoses.
“Having access to the patient’s recent prescriptions and the date they were generated is very helpful in terms of clarifying patient history and in terms of confirming the medications they are currently on,” says Makam.