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Monday, August 11, 2008

Great News for General Practice in Queensland!

The following press release arrived today

MEDIA RELEASE

11 August 2008

iHealth Care - a shot in the arm for better patient information transfer

General Practice Queensland is set to roll out a new medical contact directory and messaging service that will save practitioners time and money while ultimately improving patient care.

The iHealth Care Directory will provide registered participants with free access to a comprehensive listing of GPs, specialists, allied health professionals, pharmacies and aged care facilities.

Using the highly secure messaging service provided by Medical-Objects, iHealth Care will also allow users to share relevant patient information electronically.

According to General Practice Queensland Board Chair, Dr John Kastrissios, the two new services will eliminate the need for traditional mail and facsimiles, improving the timeliness and accuracy of communication between practitioners.

“iHealth Care will dramatically increase the speed of communication between practitioners, providing virtually instantaneous access to information such as test results and other patient-specific data. This, in turn, will significantly reduce the amount of admin time spent at surgeries,” Dr Kastrissios said.

“The Directory allows doctors to search for and refer patients to the most appropriate service providers, while the secure messaging system will facilitate better communication between Queensland’s public and private hospitals, doctors, pharmacists, allied health professionals and aged care facilities.

“This is good news for patients. A better, more secure information and communication service across the State’s health sector will deliver more seamless care, so patients won’t have to endure the frustration and expense of attending consultations when test results haven’t arrived or clinical information is out of date.”

General Practice Queensland has awarded a two-year license to Medical-Objects to provide a free secure messaging service to eligible medical practitioners.

Medical-Objects Chief Executive Officer, Glenn Stephens said, “iHealth Care is the perfect example of what can happen when an entire State’s health system is connected. In short, the new services will provide health professionals with a secure, fast, integrated, reliable and easy contact directory and communication system that will improve efficiency, reduce the risk of legal action and allow for re-allocation of human resources within medical organisations.

“Businesses use email as a standard part of daily communication with clients and colleagues, but it is an unsecured and risky way of transmitting highly confidential data. Now, doctors can use Medical-Objects’ secure medical messaging to send patient data over the Internet.

"It is not email-based, but rather a fit-for-purpose real time, secure clinical communication system. Every individual report can only be viewed by those who have been granted specific access," Mr Stephens said.

Similarly, access to the iHealth Care Directory is password protected and restricted to participating subscribers only, so the system cannot be misused.

“Together, these two iHealth Care services will connect Queensland, for better patient care. It is a great step forward for Queensland’s health industry,” Dr Kastrissios said.

ENDS

For further information:

Carla Morison

Redline Communication

Ph: 07 3369 9199

Web Sites

iHealthCare Project

http://www.ihcdirectory.com.au/

General Practice Queensland

http://www.gpqld.com.au/

Medical Objects

http://www.medical-objects.com.au

Comment.

This seems to me to be a great way to demonstrate how much difference standardized secure communications between all the actors in the health system can make. Great effort on the part of all those involved to get to this stage! I really look forward to seeing a better Qld Health System a year or two from now as this is fully rolled out.

David.

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