Digital support for emergency and time-critical care

20 December 2019: My Health Record offers authoritative health summaries in just a few clicks, a valuable resource for time-critical healthcare.

Earlier this year, a patient presented at the emergency department (ED) of the Royal Perth Hospital and collapsed at the triage desk. Unable to obtain information from the patient, the emergency team turned to My Health Record.

“The patient had a fluctuating conscious state, was profoundly hypotensive with a sporadic heart beat and was not able to give any medical information,” said Tiffany Graham, clinical nurse in the ED.

“Staff were able to view the patient’s My Health Record and found a discharge summary from another hospital, as well as access the patient’s most recent Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), which showed he had recently been dispensed quite a large volume of one particular drug.

“Staff suspected the patient may have overdosed on this medicine and after consultation with on-call toxicologists were able to commence treatment based on this information. We wouldn’t have been able to access that information without My Health Record. It’s such an important resource to us.”

This is just one example of a person’s My Health Record providing a critical source of information, enabling emergency departments and other healthcare providers to make more informed, time-critical treatment decisions and improve patient outcomes.

ED Clinician

As of November 2019, 22.65 million Australians have a My Health Record, and clinical content uploads are increasing. The system now has more than 43 million clinical documents and 91 million medicine documents.

With this health information at the fingertips of ED staff, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine, nursing and pharmacy peak bodies, state and territory eHealth organisations, and the Agency have worked together to develop the Emergency Department Clinician’s Guide to My Health Record. The Guide is a resource for hospital and ED clinicians to understand what information is available in My Health Record and to enhance efficiency and patient care.

In crucial moments, when life-critical decisions need to happen in a hurry, My Health Record may be the only source of information for staff of busy emergency departments and other healthcare providers. Its integration into emergency departments can equip those making health decisions with the information they need to be able to provide the best possible care.

See also: Media Release: More support for frontline emergency care staff