South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD), Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) and Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick (SCHNR) manage a range of health services including public hospitals, chronic care, radiology, pathology, allied health, community health and a host of other specialist services. They collectively manage over eighteen public hospitals with coverage across urban and suburban communities.
The HealtheNet program has become a leader in the development and implementation of electronic health (eHealth) initiatives to improve the provision of health care to all NSW residents. HealtheNet commenced their eDischarge Summary project to facilitate effective continuity of care in the community. A key focus of HealtheNet is to enable sharing of patients’ hospital discharge summaries electronically between General Practitioners (GPs) from inpatient and emergency departments.
HealtheNet required an enterprise-grade and standards compliant ‘Secure Messaging’ solution, to work along-side multiple projects and numerous multi-national vendors. Our component was to complete a complex integration between Argus, Fujitsu Australia, and Cerner Corporation. Adherence to Australian Standards and using international best-practices were mandatory for the project to meet its rigorous goals and outcomes.
Working closely with HealtheNet team and ICT staff representing SESLHD, ISLHD and SCHNR, we were able to plan for and execute the Argus integration to allow GP clinics to receive electronic discharge summaries (eDS) into their native clinical and administrative applications. The solution was underpinned by the unique and Australian standards based Argus secure messaging platform, but also required detailed planning for the migration of systems, change management, testing, training and implementation. By identifying the key areas needing change and working closely with end-users, project managers and other vendors, we were able to utilise the Argus web-services API to meet the real world enterprise challenges.
The eDischarge Summaries are now readily transferred electronically to the patient’s nominated GP practice via Argus, using NEHTA secure message delivery (SMD) and clinical document architecture (CDA) technologies, keeping the information safe and private. This benefits the GP practice in near real-time eliminating the need for wasted faxes and letters, as well as improving the accuracy and timeliness of record keeping for the patient's nominated GP through full automation.
The eDischarge Summary project improves the communication of a patient’s hospital stay between the hospital and their regular GP which overcomes the risk of patients misplacing or forgetting to pass on important information. SESLHD, ISLHD and SCHNR now have significantly reduced on-going costs for patient correspondence transmissions by utilising systems automation and electronic means. There has been meaningful improvement to the detail within the correspondence as well as the added benefit of quality and timeliness of information sharing.
This project achieved HealtheNet’s objectives to have an enterprise-grade solution allowing for a future state-wide solution to evolve for NSW. The cost-savings, quality and timeliness of this solution will be delivering benefits state-wide for many years to come.