Wednesday, September 09, 2015
Yet Again The Health Department Has Made Life Harder For GPs With Poor Technology!
This appeared a few days ago:
3 September 2015
THE new national gateway for aged-care referrals is acting as a choke point for GPs trying to arrange care for elderly patients, doctors say.
The My Aged Care website and online referral system was to provide “equitable and timely access to aged care assessments and make it easier for older people to find aged care services and information”.
But major design flaws in the system launched on 1 July are said to be wasting doctors’ time and causing information about vulnerable patients to be lost.
Loss of information from GPs’ referrals is a “huge concern”, says Adelaide GP Dr Chris Bollen, who has taken feedback from numerous practices about the system.
“There’s no way to know if your referral has been accepted, and where it’s gone to, no read on receipt function," he says.
“The GP referrals go to the assessment team online. Then the next person takes that information and rings the older person or their carer, then an assessment is made and a referral is generated and sent to a regional assessment team or sometimes to a provider.
“But the original GP referral stays with the My Aged Care people – it does not go to the end provider at all.”
The RACGP has written to the Department of Social Services seeking a number of improvements, including a means of sending referrals electronically via a system that conforms to the Secure Message Delivery (SMD) system.
“The website has created extra and unnecessary work for general practitioners due to lack of front-line GP input into the design and modus operandi,” RACGP president Frank Jones told Medical Observer.
“Proactive consultation with the profession would have saved time, effort and given the best outcome.”
The web-based system is not compatible with GPs’ electronic clinical data systems, forcing doctors to manually retype patient details to the new template in a “time-consuming and unnecessary exercise”, Dr Jones says.
The RACGP said in its 11 August letter to DSS: “To be useable in the context of general practice, online methods of communication must link to or integrate with GPs’ electronic clinical and administrative systems.
After the RACGP released its letter of concern publicly, the department responded yesterday with an acknowledgment “that a seamless interface supporting GPs and aged care providers is ideal”, Dr Jones said.
“The RACGP is supportive of an online electronically based referral system for aged care and would welcome the opportunity to work with government to improve processes,” he says.
The DSS has been contacted for comment.
Yet another e-Health farce led by the Department of Health. How about some testing and a pilot or two to locate the issues before full implementation? Really all one can do is despair!
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Wednesday, September 09, 2015