NACCHO ehealth news:SA mob prepares to go live with PCEHR in Aboriginal communities

Eh ealth

From Kate McDonald Pulse IT Australia’s first Ehealth Magazine

NACCHO member Pangula Mannamurna Health Service in Mt Gambier last week went live with the national eHealth record system, allowing healthcare practitioners to upload shared health summaries to their clients’ PCEHRs.

Pangula is one of 10 Aboriginal community controlled health services and two Aboriginal community controlled substance misuse services in SA and is a member of the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA), which is co-ordinating the roll out of the PCEHR to the clinics serving Aboriginal people in the state.

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AHCSA’s eHealth program manager, Sarah Ahmed, said nearly all of AHCSA’s member health services and the 30-odd clinics they run have applied to take part in the PCEHR, with six of the health services completing full registration so far. All of the health services use Communicare’s clinical information system, which is now PCEHR-compliant.

However, while Dr Ahmed said the idea of the PCEHR was an attractive one to many Aboriginal people and the health services that care for them, the process of actually applying to take part in the system has been fraught with difficulty, and it’s not just the usual challenge of remoteness that has caused most of these problems.

“I would have to say remoteness is the least important difficulty,” Dr Ahmed said, stressing that her viewpoint is that of AHCSA, not the individual clinics. “The largest obstacle has been confusion about processes because of all the different bodies that need to be involved.

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