Wednesday, March 19, 2014
New Zealand Seems To Be Rushing Forward With E-Health. A Much Cheaper And I Suspect Better Approach Than Australia And The PCEHR.
This very interesting article appeared a few days ago.
Updated at 11:27 am on 16 March 2014
An online revolution is the biggest change for family doctors' practices in decades and it has big potential benefits for the public.
E-health through so-called patient portals will provide online access to personal health information, similar to online banking. The system enables patients to renew prescriptions, receive lab-test results online, book appointments and possibly even see doctor's comments written following consultations.
Wellington man Blair Polly was one of the first to trial ManageMyHealth through his GP, Richard Medlicott, and is a convert.
Patient portals are a key part of a raft of electronic health initiatives being promoted by the Government as the way of the future in health; it wants 90 percent of general practitioners' (GPs) patients to have access to the technology by the end of 2014.
Experience overseas has shown people love having easy access to health records, and the clinicians and others here say such systems will empower patients.
The patient portals use technology similar to that used in internet banking to provide secure access by patients to health summary information.
Mr Polly started using the portal several years ago, at about the time he was diagnosed with type two diabetes. He was seeing Dr Medlicott on a regular basis and keen to get the condition under control.
He gets an email from Dr Medlicott when a new lab result has come through, and he goes online to see what it is and read the comments the doctor has about the result. He also renews his prescriptions online and emails Dr Medlicott at Island Bay Medical Centre whenever he has a question.
The system is surprisingly easy to use, Mr Polly says.
"I've said to other people that if you can jump onto TradeMe or if you can use Facebook or anything like that, it's certainly no more difficult than those sorts of things and it just opens up the lines of communications between myself and my doctor."
Mr Polly he feels he's being more proactive about his health, and says it's convenient because he can do things online when he thinks of it or has time, without interrupting his doctor in any way.
He's looking forward to the day all his health records are online and easily accessed, no matter where he may be in the country -- something the health system is still working towards.
Mr Polly says it may also be saving him money; in the past he would have booked an appointment to see his GP over a possible problem but now he'll send a short email and often get an answer which resolves the query.
Listen to more on Insight ( 27 min 51 sec )
Lots more here:
Here we go with a properly considered system in NZ doing the things that people want and need, and improving interaction with their clinicians, via a sensibly considered patient portal.
The patient gets simple access to help, advice and information and the clinician retains their position as a trusted source of health information for the patient -as well as having just a single point of patient records.
That 750 patients of 850 offered the service took the offer up speaks volumes to me!
I bet this cost 1/10 of what Australia has paid for a much less useful system.
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Wednesday, March 19, 2014