Boost to consumer health outcomes through better pharmacist access to My Health Record

Better patient care, efficiencies for pharmacists, and more accurate records are just some of the benefits that consumers can expect from the latest industry take-up of the digital My Health Record program.


Six additional community pharmacy software vendors have agreed to connect up to the My Health Record system, which will make it easier for pharmacists to securely access patient care information. Negotiations are ongoing with a number of other pharmacy dispensing software vendors, and the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) is confident that agreements will be in place with almost all vendors in the next few months.

The Agency has entered into agreements with Dispense Works, Minfos, Mountaintop Dispense, RxOne, ScriptPro Dispense, and Z Dispense. These are in addition to Fred Dispense and Aquarius Dispense, which already connect to the My Health Record system. The Agency is continuing discussions with other dispense software organisations.

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) President, practising pharmacist, and specialist adviser to the Agency Dr Shane Jackson has welcomed the strong response from industry and flagged some of the ways that pharmacists will be able to provide better patient care.

“Connecting to My Health Record allows pharmacists to contribute to, and access, health information for the community we serve. For example, access to discharge summaries and information about allergies will help pharmacists provide relevant advice that is targeted to each individual, and ensure the safety of the patient.

“Connecting the pharmacy vendor’s software to My Health Record will allow medication dispense records to be added seamlessly to the patient’s My Health Record at the time of dispensing. Pharmacists will also spend less time chasing up clinical information and will have access to My Health Record as part of their regular workflow and dispensing process,” Dr Jackson said.

The Agency is working closely with healthcare providers, clinicians, the Medical Software Industry Association (MSIA), the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (the Guild) and individual software vendors to maximise the benefits that My Health Record can achieve for patient care in community pharmacies.

MSIA President Emma Hossack has recognised the strength of these working relationships and the opportunities it provides for the industry.

“The MSIA recognises the value of its members having connectivity to national infrastructure like the My Health Record.

“It has been a pleasure to work through the issues with the Agency and the other stakeholders to enable our members to have access to the resources necessary for this very considerable piece of development which will benefit all Australians,” Emma Hossack said.

Andrew Hall, EBOS Group General Manager Pharmacy Technology, oversees Minfos and said that his company is one of the latest community pharmacy software developers to sign up with the Agency. Minfos is working with stakeholders to integrate with My Health Record.

“This integration enables a secure and centralised online access to patient information, which in turn can help pharmacies spend more time with patients in managing their health and less time chasing clinical information.

“At Minfos, we are committed to empowering pharmacies to deliver better patient care and we believe this integration will assist pharmacists to provide more efficient care,” Andrew Hall said.

Background

The Australian Digital Health Agency is providing direct funding to several community pharmacy software vendor to connect them to the My Health Record system. The offer of direct funding was opened on 3 February 2017 and closed on 20 March 2017.

Information on community pharmacy funding is available on the Agency website.

ENDS
Media contact: David Cooper, Senior Media Manager
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