The Australian Digital Health Agency, a statutory body responsible for implementing various digital health initiatives, has announced that it will launch an online platform where healthcare providers in the country can place and update information about their services and practitioners.
WHAT IT DOES
According to a press release, Provider Connect Australia maintains the accuracy of healthcare service and practitioner contact details. It can also automatically send new details to nominated hospitals, pathology and radiology services, public service directories, secure messaging providers and others.
Previously, health organisations were required to fill out between 10 and 20 paper or online forms to notify other providers about the changes in their services or practitioner information. The ADHA said Provider Connect Australia eliminates that “substantial” red-tape burden.
Formerly called Service Registration Assistant, Provider Connect Australia was first tried out in Northern New South Wales last year, where it was found that 99% of participating practitioner records held in the health district’s address book were “out of date”.
WHY IT MATTERS
ADHA CEO Amanda Cattermole said the platform will enable “greater” interoperability and the adoption of secure messaging across the healthcare system. She mentioned that secure messaging is a key strategic priority under Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy. The new initiative will help providers easily locate each other to “securely” share patient information.
The agency stressed that “accurate and reliable” information about healthcare services is a “key foundation to support a digitally connected healthcare system”. As it eliminates the administrative burden of manually filling out forms to update information, it prevents inaccurate and out-of-date information to find its way across the system, affecting efficiency and quality of care.
The platform is also expected to bring benefits to patient care as having the most up-to-date information is “essential” for sending hospital discharge summaries, like treatment plans and progress notes, to the right person “as quickly as possible”.
“The objective is to improve the efficiency of administrative processes for publishers and subscribers managing their data and help provide prompt, safe and seamless patient care across settings and providers,” Cattermole said.
The ADHA projects Provider Connect Australia to deliver over AU$30 million ($22.8 million) in yearly economic benefits by 2025.
ON THE RECORD
“Provider Connect Australia will deliver efficiencies for practice support staff who will only have to update any changes in practice information once and will increase confidence at the point of care that all of the incoming information about patients will be there, and that outgoing address books are complete and up-to-date,” said ADHA Chief Clinical Adviser Dr Steve Hambleton.
“By providing this national service, the Agency can improve the quality and reliability of healthcare service details in directories and other services, including Medicare, and significantly reduce the administrative burden on healthcare organisations,” Cattermole said.