Australia and New Zealand’s largest health system integrator HealthLink has this week released the MyHealthLink portal, a stand-alone system designed to enable smaller medical practices and individual healthcare provider organisations to utilize the SmartForms technology that is currently in the process of transforming health sector communications.
The first release of MyHealthLink has been for the purpose of supporting the CareConnect eReferrals system. CareConnect is in the process of making eReferrals mandatory for healthcare provider organisations referring patients to Auckland’s three district health boards.
Until now, the only systems capable of sending SmartForms have been the major general practice and specialists’ electronic medical records software of both countries. In order to use HealthLink’s SmartForms, practices have had to be using an electronic medical record system (EMR) with either a HISO compliant (New Zealand) or an Aduro compliant (Australia) interface. Current SmartForms users include nearly all general practices and the majority of specialists. Now the MyHealthLink portal will expand the availability of SmartForms to a number of smaller medical organisations that do not have Aduro or HISO compliant EMR systems. Eventually, using MyHealthLink, smaller organisations will be able to do electronic referrals, order pathology and radiology services and send an increasing number of insurance and work-cover related medical certificates.
Initially MyHealthLink will be used by healthcare providers within the Auckland region which has recently confirmed that it will require all incoming referrals to be electronic from March 2017. Already a number of dentists, allied healthcare providers and specialists have registered to use the new system, in readiness for moving their referral processes from paper-based to electronic, ahead of the March deadline. In the first week since the service launch was announced more than 50 organisations applied to use the service and are currently going through an ‘on-boarding’ process.
HealthLink’s objective is to transfer entire healthcare regions from using paper based processes to fully electronic ones. The technology is now there to make that change but completely transforming important processes such as referrals from paper based to electronic requires a disciplined approach. Success is also dependent upon highly effective teamwork between the key healthcare provider organisations and their technology partners.
“Achieving total, system-wide transition is what HealthLink is about. That is where we are positioning ourselves. Our customers are telling us that they don’t want a partially electronic solution, they want to transform their region fully.
MyHealthLink is an important tool for achieving complete end-to-end regional transformation.”
HealthLink is an electronic communications and integration service that is used by all of the organisations within the health sector to exchange electronic patient information via their computer systems. HealthLink’s core focus is on ensuring that electronic communication processes are put in place to give patients certainty that their information has been appropriately handled. HealthLink is used by more than 13,500 medical practices across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region. The company has offices in Auckland, Brisbane, Townsville, Sydney and Wollongong. HealthLink has a growing presence in every Australian State and territory as well as an almost complete coverage of the New Zealand health sector. For more information contact or see www.healthlink.net