CWH, Corum connect to MHR

pharmacist computer laptop technology digital my health record

Chemist Warehouse, holding 30% of community pharmacy market, and Corum representing 1,000 pharmacies, have announced their upcoming connection to My Health Record

This means every community pharmacy software vendor has now signed up to the Community Pharmacy Software Industry Partnership to connect to the My Health Record system, according to the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Chemist Warehouse Managing Partner and Director Mark Finocchiaro says the company sees great potential to improve the health of Australians through technologies such as My Health Record.

“My Health Record will enable our health professionals to make informed decisions through improved access to relevant and timely health information, assisting our patients to enjoy better health outcomes, and allowing our pharmacies to offer new and innovative services,” Mr Finocchiaro says.

Corum Group CEO David Clarke adds that content and accessibility are the first steps to realising the potential of My Health Record.

“At Corum we are determined to take a leading role in the connected, integrated world of digital health for the benefit of our customers, and the millions of Australians who value their expertise,” says Mr Clarke.

“For My Health Record to succeed, the health software industry needs to support the concept, build the enabling infrastructure, and advocate its use and adoption.

“We are encouraged with the Australian Digital Health Agency’s collaborative approach and that the pharmacy sector has embraced this initiative,” Mr Clarke says.

PSA National President Shane Jackson said My Health Record is a “game changer” in the clinical care delivered by pharmacists.

“The connection of Chemist Warehouse and Corum to My Health Record will increase the amount of valuable information that health practitioners can access in order to provide clinical and timely care for their patients,” Dr Jackson says.

Chemist Warehouse and Corum will join Minfos, POS Works, and RxOne who recently connected with My Health Record, while Fred IT integrated its Fred Dispense product in 2013.

Other software providers are expected to integrate with the system in the near future.

AJP recently asked the Australian Digital Health Agency, which is in charge of rolling out the MHR digital system, to provide further information on MHR: what it is, how to use it and why should you consider it?

Here’s what they said:

1. Why should pharmacists use My Health Record?

My Health Record enhances clinical decision making and consumer care, particularly when consumers are cared for by multiple healthcare providers and visit multiple healthcare organisations, says the agency.

It provides pharmacists access to clinically relevant information from other healthcare providers including:

  • Hospital discharge summaries
  • GP shared health summaries
  • Consumer-entered information about OTC medications and other supplements

There is also significant potential for pharmacists to use digital health records as a tool to communicate with other health professionals, particularly during transitions of care.

My Health Record will provide access to verifiable clinical information such as a shared health summary, which is really useful when a pharmacist is sitting down with a patient for a MedsCheck or Home Medication Review.

The benefit to patients is safer and more effective care.

2. In simple terms, what are the steps involved for pharmacists using the software?

Uploading clinical documents

To upload clinical documents (dispense records), pharmacists will need to use conformant FRED Dispense, Minfos, POS Works, or RxOne pharmacy software, register with My Health Record, and obtain National Authentication Service for Health (NASH) Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates.

Pharmacists will then be able to access My Health Record directly from the ‘dispense’ screen. For noting, each pharmacy dispensing software may have a slightly different display of the My Health Record radio button however the actual upload of the dispense record occurs automatically.

To support the upload of dispense records, pharmacists and pharmacy staff will need to ensure that each individual’s/customer’s profile includes the following information:

  • First name
  • Surname
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Medicare number (and individual reference number)/Department of Veterans’ Affairs number

Accessing/viewing My Health Record

When a pharmacist is using conformant software, a patient’s record can be accessed directly from the ‘dispense’ screen. Pharmacists can also access relevant clinical information via the My Health Record provider portal.

3. Will pharmacists be using it for every patient/script?

No. My Health Record will best support a pharmacist’s practice if it is used in relevant clinical situations. For example, when a pharmacist needs to confirm allergies and adverse drug relations, or to access more information on the individual’s medical history or diagnoses, or verify discharge medications.

4. How long will using the software take out of pharmacists’ time every day?

The use of My Health Record for dispense record upload is not expected to adversely impact on pharmacists workflows, especially once the registration and training processes are completed.

MHR will add efficiencies to Medchecks, diabetes checks, HMRs, and managing patients at transitions of care by providing real-time access to recent, relevant and reliable information to inform clinical assessment and decision making.

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