Keeping up with social media is only part of the story for a 21st century Practice Manager

Sydney’s DMC Medical Centre Drummoyne has an engaging Facebook page thanks to PM Fiona Kolokas* and her commitment to digital communication.

You can book a doctor’s appointment through the Facebook page or just catch up on surgery news and competitions.

“I manage a pretty elaborate social media profile for DMC from my smartphone and tablet,” says Ms Kolokas. “We are near the city with a lot of patients in professional and executive roles and they are pretty tech savvy.”

But she says despite the number of patients using their smart phones and being online 24/7, Fiona feels the health system has some catching up to do. “We are so far behind. We have to go digital.”

“Communication to this point between health providers has been so poor. It’s either slow or it’s very scant and the only way I can see it working properly is by digital means,” Ms Kolokas said.

Ms Kolokas is encouraging young mothers and fathers to follow her lead and enrol their children for a My Health Record. “I have set up all of my immediate family with a record. I think it is so important for families.”

“I am a mum of two very young children, and also have a grandmother who is 92 and is in and out of the hospital system. I generally find that in each new medical interaction/situation very little if anything is known about them and I find it so frustrating that you always have to start over again with their history, not to mention the risk of each practitioner missing potentially vital information.”

“So if you set it up when the children are young you are going to have their history building up from the beginning, it’s a more complete record.”  

“I have found the 'blue book' a surprisingly useful way of enhancing my kids health care, and to me the My Health Record is the digital and far more sophisticated and superior version of the blue book with incredible opportunity for clinical communication.

DMC started using the My Health Record about two years ago, but patient demand was still low, she said. “I am surprised it is not on more people’s radar.”

“A My Health Record isn't the only health record, but it is the one everyone will eventually be using to communicate with each other and be on the same page. And when we get hospitals, specialists, AHPs and pathology all talking to each other as well as GPs it is going to be incredibly useful,” she said.

Fiona Kolokas

* Fiona Kolokas is the NSW vice president of AAPM, runs the Sydney Practice Managers’ network and also consults on practice management with her company Synergize Me.

Need help with implementing digital health and the My Health Record system in your practice? Call Customer Care on 1300 901 001 or email [email protected]