Written by Kate McDonald
First published by Pulse+IT on 4/11/2019
Doctors can now electronically refer their patients to My Aged Care directly from their practice management systems following a three-month trial using HealthLink’s SmartForms technology.
The capability is live in recent versions of MedicalDirector, Best Practice and Genie. A Department of Health spokesperson said the department will be monitoring take-up and feedback in the next six to 12 months to potentially roll it out to other channels.
“If this proves to be a useful product and is adopted by general practitioners, the department will then consider broadening the scope,” the spokesperson said.
Previously, doctors wanting to refer their patients had to phone the My Aged Care contact centre, fax a referral or use an external webform.
The new capability will not only let them send the referral from their PMS but receive an acknowledgement in real time along with a reference number with the confirmation receipt that can be used to follow up on referrals by calling My Aged Care.
The PMSs also have the ability to store referrals so users can refer back to what has been sent.
The spokesperson said the capability was trialled in July 2019 with a pilot group of GP practices to seek user feedback of the solution based on real cases. “The feedback helped inform further enhancements, which were implemented during the pilot,” the spokesperson said.
“Wider rollout to compatible sites who already have access to SmartForm functionality through HealthLink commenced from October 26, following initial promotion at the RACGP GP19 conference in Adelaide last week.”
The spokesperson said the eReferral form has initially been rolled out to sites running compatible versions of the three software systems that already access SmartForms through HealthLink.
SmartForms is integrated into MedicalDirector 3.16 and above, Best Practice Lava SP3 and above, Genie v8.8 and above, as well as Medtech Evolution 10.4.4 and above.
Funding for the roll out was provided as part of a $61.7 million package allocated in the 2018-19 federal budget to revamp the My Aged Care system. Money has also gone to a redevelopment of the website, and to a new Client Summary page on the My Aged Care portals, with consumers now able to view the progress of their package.
HealthLink first introduced SmartForms to the Australian market in 2016. It is used by NSW Roads and Maritime for fitness to drive medical assessments, which HealthLink says now has upwards of 300 assessments per day being submitted.
It is also being used for Victoria’s eReferrals platform, which delivers around 2000 referrals per month into Austin, Eastern and Northern Health, and by the ACT for its authority to prescribe request form, which handles around 400 requests per month.
Disclaimer: Pulse+IT and HealthLink are both part of the Clanwilliam Group.