Information and communication are vital aspects of Health Care Homes. Technology can help with both, but only if the use of technology aligns with workflows. What works in one clinic won't necessarily work in another, so each must think about its own technology needs and how they might fit in.
Options for Health Care Homes
A few key components of Health Care Homes are listed below (in roughly the order that they happen) and the technology options that might help with them.
- Doctors Control Panel
- Health Care Homes Risk Stratification Tool
- MD Insight (MedicalDirector module)
- POLAR GP
A key characteristic of Health Care Homes is that they have enhanced access to the practice (refer page 4 of the Information Booklet). This could include in-hours telephone support, and email or video-conferencing (where available and accessible).
Video-consultations are a new way of interacting with patients, but careful planning is needed, particularly for deciding when they can safely replace face-to-face care. There are also many practical considerations, such as how to succesfully schedule a clinician to be in the right room at the right time, the quality of the internet connection, the room they are conducted in, and so on. The RACGP's Telehealth Webkit has useful information for practices wanting to explore this option.
Sharing information with patients
Communicating with other providers
- Secure messaging
My Health Record access
The matrix below has common software products that access the My Health Record system, the types of providers who commonly use them, and some of the My Health Record functions they do. Source is the Register of Conformity, refer to the Register for updates.
|Product||General practice||Specialist clinic||Allied Health clinic||Aged Care||My Health Record view||Prescription & Dispense view||Shared Health Summary upload||Event Summary upload||Specialist Letter upload||eReferral upload|
Some of the products in the matrix can be used in demonstration machines set up by the Australian Digital Health Agency. The demos are available from the On Demand Training site by clicking the Go To On Demand Training button. (Note that once you've opened a machine, the password to log in to the clinical software is P@ssw0rd - with a zero, not an O.)
General IT is also important for making it possible to do ehealth and manage tasks such as securing against attacks and backups. The ImproveIT site is a good resource to assess where you're at with your IT and how to improve.