Implementation of HealthLink’s SmartForms’ service is dependent upon establishment of the Aduro Interface, a standards based interface that enables a GP or Specialist’s electronic medical record (EMR) system to communicate with a centrally hosted forms server. It is the Aduro Interface that automatically pulls information out of the EMR in order to populate the eReferral or service order form prior to its being sent.
As of 1 October HealthLink was 50% of the way to implementing the Aduro interface across Australia’s main EMR systems. With 4,300 sites now installed, HealthLink expects to reach the full 8,000 target sites by the end of 2016, with use of SmartForms applications ready to commence on a production basis early in 2017. More than 95% of New Zealand General Practice sites have been installed and development by Incisive Software, New Zealand’s largest specialist EMR company is now underway.
While HealthLink SmartForms is a relatively new phenomenon in Australia, the Aduro SmartForms interface (also known as HISO standard 10014.2) is widely used across New Zealand for a range of purposes. They include hospital and specialist referrals, pathology and radiology service ordering, medical certificates and accident insurance claiming. Usage growth has been rapid since the platform was launched approximately eight years ago. Today more than 180,000 SmartForms are being sent each month.
SmartForms technology is fully integrated within the EMR Interface and supported by the vendor. It is not a widget, adaptor or a piece of software that is resident on an external sidebar.
The major benefits for an agency using SmartForms is that because the form is hosted centrally, the current version will always be used (rather than asking the GP or specialist to continually download the latest version, in case there have been changes).
The first major Australian EMR system to implement Aduro was Genie Solutions, Australia’s leading specialist software package used by an estimated 50% of Australia’s specialists. Medical Director implemented Aduro within its March release. The numbers are growing steadily with about 10% of MD’s user base joining each month as more and more sites upgrade, at the current rate of increase we expect to see nearly 100% of MD users Aduro enabled by December.
Best Practice’s Lava release has seen a sharp increase in uptake as users upgrade and we would expect further rapid growth over the next few months.
A number of smaller systems, cloud based systems and systems developed for specialist groups, allied health providers and midwives have also embraced the concept and are at various stages of the Aduro integration process. (see table below).
Across the Tasman, all of New Zealand’s recognised GP and specialist vendors have implemented the system with leading player Medtech having played an important role in the service’s development.
GP-led MyPractice also played an important role too in launching the service and new market entrant Valentia has worked hard to ensure that its new cloud-based GP product.
Indici is fully SmartForms capable and ready to interact with The New Zealand Ministry of Social Development, The Accident Compensation Commission and The Auckland District Health Boards which are all enthusiastic users of SmartForms technology. Leading specialist EMR package Incisive Software has commenced implementation of the interface in order to meet the Auckland Regional District Health Boards’ target to have all incoming referrals electronic in early 2017.
The First New Zealand SmartForms initiative was a system designed to meet the needs of the New Zealand drug buying agency ‘Pharmac’ which administers the ‘Special Authority’ system. This a process in which a prescriber requests a government subsidy for a specialised medicine for a particular patient. SmartForms reduced the time taken to get a special authority approval from two weeks down to a matter of seconds.
Since that time SmartForms has become the standard means for exchanging complex information between New Zealand healthcare organisations.
In Australia, the first EMR package to send live SmartForms was Genie Solutions whose clients used the system to send referrals to Australian Hearing. Australian Hearing is the nation’s leading hearing specialist and largest provider of Government funded hearing services and provides hearing services to clients eligible under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program.