Friday May 6, 2016
BOPDHB Media Release
Improving the speed and efficiency of care were the drivers behind two major projects which now allow health professionals to access patient information more easily.
“Health professionals need to be as fully informed as they can be to give the best care in the shortest amount of time. These systems help that process enormously,” says Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) Information Management General Manager Owen Wallace.
Owen is talking about two new information sharing systems ‘CHIP for GPs’ and ‘MedCheck’. These were developed by the BOPDHB in cooperation with the district’s three PHOs (Primary Health Organisations) and various other health providers. He explains the issue they have addressed.
“People can receive healthcare from several places, such as their GP, pharmacy, or hospital,” says Owen. “Each holds information about that person’s health needs and medications. Until now that information has largely remained with those organisations.
“So when a person goes to their GP they may well have to repeat a lot of information that is already known and held by the pharmacy and vice versa. CHIP for GPs and MedCheck have linked up systems which improves and speeds up patient care.
“Knowing at the touch of a button what medications and dosages a patient is on avoids delays in patient care and gives all the information necessary for decision making.”
Simon Hodgson at Bureta Pharmacy says MedCheck has been a game changer.
“It’s really changed the way we help our patients,” he says. “We now have easy access to discharge summaries to reconcile their medication, in particular if there are changes to their regimen.
“We use it almost every day now. In fact a patient discharged today, without a copy of a discharge summary, was given their blister-packed medication in a timely fashion after we were able to ascertain the reason for medication changes online through MedCheck.”
Clinical Pharmacist Murray Foreman, from Medwise, agrees.
“Having access to discharge information and dispensing information enables me to have a clearer picture when I see a patient,” he says.
“The ability to gather all the relevant information and then ensure other health providers are fully informed helps us provide a high level of care to mutual patients.”
Over 90% of the community pharmacies in the district have joined the MedCheck initiative and there are currently over 650 registered health professionals accessing CHIP for GPs.