SA Health has linked its Allscripts Sunrise electronic medical record (EMR) and patient administration system (PAS) to the country’s My Health Record, allowing clinicians to upload information directly to the platform.
The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) announced the completion of the integration on Wednesday, which it said was made possible by a new My Health Record ‘viewer’ within Sunrise EMR.
The viewer – or tab – creates a single view of a patient’s interactions across the health care system, both within SA and interstate, providing shared health summaries from GPs, pathology and imaging reports and prescription information.
ADHA and SA Health have been working for the past eight months to link the two systems through a proof-of-concept that allows South Australian clinicians to upload and view information using the tab.
The integration means the 33 percent of public hospital beds that currently have access to the Sunrise EMR in the state, including those at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, will now benefit from access to the My Health Record.
SA Health is planning to bring the Sunrise EMR and PAS to all remaining metropolitan Local Health Networks over the next three years, having scored $198.6 million for the rollout in last year’s state budget.
The funding is the first major investment in the system since the electronic patient administration system (EPAS) – beset by usability issues, cost overruns and delays – was reset by the government in 2018.
ADHA CEO Amanda Cattermole said the development was a “great step forward for SA Health clinicians who are now able to view and contribute to the My Health Record seamlessly through their clinical workflows”.
“South Australian patients will now benefit from improved handover of care as a result of access to information spanning their health journey and a reduction in user errors by having a solution that enforces patient context,” she said.
Cattermole added that My Health Record information was now being more widely used by hospital staff nationality as a result of such integrations, with over 100,000 My Health Record Documents views now occurring each week.
Digital Health SA chief medical information officer and senior intensive care specialist at Flinders Medical Centre Santosh Verghese said the integration would improve clinical interactions with patients.
“In an intensive care unit (ICU) setting the arrival of patients is unpredictable and time critical when dealing with trauma,” he said.
“In this situation, access to the patient’s medical records and encounter history ensures the ICU clinicians can make informed decisions when the traditional health care networks and family networks are inaccessible.”