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New community electronic medical record to empower consumers and clinicians

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Consumers and clinicians will have fast and easy access to medical records when a new electronic system is rolled out at Barwon Health next year.

The Community Electronic Medical Record (EMR) will digitise health records for community and mental health consumers, providing real-time access to clinical information, resources and appointment times.

Barwon Health Chief Information Officer Andrew Macfarlane said the digital system would utilise an innovative cloud-based product, Salesforce Health Cloud, implemented in partnership with software integrator Mav3rik.

“Clinicians will be able to gain access to the full picture of their consumer’s healthcare experience, and consumers will also be able to access their own Barwon Health information,” he said.

“Access to this real-time Barwon Health consumer information will enable clinicians to better respond to each care episode to a level not previously possible in a paper-based health record environment.

“We’re committed to consumer privacy, so the digital platform will be built with security and privacy controls incorporated into the design from the beginning.”

The Community solution is one of the first platform-based solutions for community-based health services across the Victorian public health system and is part of the state digital health strategy to improve health outcomes.

Hospital Admission Risk Program (HARP) community clinician Jackie James said the new solution will allow consumers to have greater control and choice over their healthcare journey.

“One of the key benefits of the new community solution is the opportunity for consumers to have access to their own consumer portal,” she said.

“The portal will offer an avenue for consumers to access up-to-date information about their healthcare, get valuable health education and resources and communicate with their healthcare providers.

“For staff on the road visiting consumers, utilising the product via a tablet or laptop will reduce paper-work and provide fast access to information.”

The pioneering cloud-based approach will allow the software to be easily adapted to the changing needs of the healthcare system and provide a more consumer-friendly portal.

The Community EMR project commenced last month and will be implemented across many of Barwon Health’s community services and Mental Health, Drugs and Alcohol Services (excluding the in-patient Swanston Centre) in 2023.