eHealth is the utilisation of information management technology to deliver health care and share information with other health care providers.
NT ACCHSs have led Australia with eHealth having used electronic Clinical Information Systems (CIS/PIRS) for the last five to ten years and reporting to OATSIH on the NTAHKPIs for three to four years. They have been using data for CQI and service planning, monitoring and evaluation, and have been major stakeholders in the uptake of the SEHR.
In the NT, all ACCHSs have a CIS (mostly Communicare), most DoH remote clinics are now using PCIS (except in East Arnhem where they use Communicare), whilst most ACCHSs electronically claim Medicare, download pathology and report on the NTAHKPI to the DoH data warehouse and the national KPIs to OATSIH using OCHREStreams.
AMSANT's eHealth Goal
To work with our sector to ensure that ACCHSs have a CIS that allows them to deliver a quality health service to individual clients, analyse data to improve their health service, report to funders and maximise Information Sharing and Medicare claiming.
Leaders in eHealth
An important area of innovation by AMSANT and its members is in relation to eHealth. Faced with the challenges of remote and often highly mobile clients they have developed best practice eHealth systems that enable the coordinated treatment of patients, as well as real-time access to patient records in home settings, including in remote locations such as homelands and outstations. No longer is remoteness a barrier to providing quality care. Greg Henshchke explains:
"We're enabling people's health records to follow them around wherever they go. And once you've got that information the clinicians, nurses, health workers, and doctors know what treatment or medication has already been given and what needs to be done. And it enables, for example, the male Aboriginal Health Workers to go and see the men at their workplace and have a quiet word to them, just remind them that they haven't had a health check in the last two years."
AMSANT has been at the coalface of these achievements, and is currently working with the National eHealth Authority and the NT DoH to transition from the My eHealth Record used predominately in the NT to the national Electronic Health Record.