Friday, March 11, 2016

It Rather Looks Like The DoH Have Messed Up Another E-Health Program. Hardly A Surprise!

This appeared last week:

GPs fear aged care referrals lost in IT blackhole

| 2 March, 2016 |  
GPs fear vulnerable patients needing aged care services are falling through the cracks due to ongoing problems with a new national referral system.
The Federal Government changed the aged-care service referral pathway from a local to a central system in July last year with the launch of the My Aged Care website - through which all GP referrals for care now have to be made.
By September the government had admitted the system was cluncky to use and advised GPs to fax referrals for home care, such as wound dressing or blood pressure checks, until it could create a better web form.
Six months later no new form has been devised. It has also became necessary last month to use the website to make Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) referrals, which assess eligibility for high-level care, such as entering an aged care facility.
The unresolved IT issues have led GPs to warn that they fear referrals for vulnerable patients are taking too long or even going missing.
They say they don't know if patients are facing lengthy delays or whether their referral has been actioned. 
Dr Trina Gregory, of Port Macquarie GP Super Clinic, says she sends referrals by fax, but does not hear back. 
It then becomes necessary to ask the practice nurse to chase up each referral.
“I feel sorry for the nurses who get left with this whole mess,” she told Australian Doctor.
The centralised system also meant GPs could no longer provide patients with the name of the service provider they had referred them to, added Dr Nathan Pinskier, chair of the RACGP’s expert committee on e-health and practice systems. 
As a result, some elderly patients became confused when contacted by a provider and would hang up when they phoned, he explained.
Illana Halliday, CEO of the Aged and Community Services Association (NSW & ACT), said the national system had been beleaguered with constant “glitches” since its rollout.
In response, the association had sent a “long list of issues” to the Department of Health.
These included the added administrative burden on providers making referrals and failure to promote the system, causing patients to make direct requests to services.
There were also issues with the pipeline which was leaving GPs out of the loop, she said.
“Those who do the referrals can’t get feedback, because My Aged Care only contacts the customer directly.
More bad news here:
Looks like another real mess to me on the basis of the stories told here!
Well worth a read of the full article!
David.

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