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eHealth support for aged care


An automated application tool is now available to assist aged care providers register for eHealth functions as part of a new managed service offered online by the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA).

The eHealth Online Forms tool allows healthcare organisations to submit applications for the personally controlled e-health record (PCEHR) system, a unique healthcare provider number and a digital authentication certificate, all of which are required to access the national eHealth record system.

The joint initiative between NEHTA, the Department of Human Services and the Department of Health also provides customer support, tips and advice via telephone, email and the website.

NEHTA said it would act as the agent for Healthcare Identifier (HI), National Authentication Service for Health (NASH) and PCEHR applicants to provide a total managed service throughout the eHealth application process.

Aged care providers are considered healthcare organisations for these services if they are applying to use the eHealth record system as a healthcare organisation or they use conformant clinical software.

According to NEHTA’s website, five aged care software products have varying eHealth functions available, however, none offer all functions.

Platinum, iCare, tcm (The Care Manager), Autumncare and Comcare Desktop all offer HI search and retrieve services, basic connectivity and viewing of PCEHRs, and capability to produce and send event summaries.

Additionally, iCare can produce and send shared health summaries. Platinum supports assisted patient PCEHR registration as does Autumncare and Comcare Desktop, both of which also feature prescription and dispense view.

NEHTA has also launched an on-demand training service for clinicians to simulate the eHealth system functions in their software. The on-demand training is accessed via NEHTA’s website and is currently available for Best Practice, Communicate, Genie and Medical Director software.

These recent releases follow the 1 July launch of a new Conformance, Compliance and Declaration (CCD) process aimed at improving software vendors’ ability to implement NEHTA’s specifications and connect to the PCEHR.

Support is also available online to vendors and implementers through expert staff advice and an improved website and testing tools.

NEHTA CEO Peter Fleming said these new services would collectively make it easier for healthcare providers and software vendors to connect to and use eHealth.

“The foundations are there and are being used across the country in GP clinics, hospitals, pharmacies and other medical practices.

“Ultimately, we all want to see a critical mass of providers who are connected and meaningfully using eHealth to deliver better healthcare for patients.  These new services will help achieve this,” Mr Fleming said.

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