Canterbury people are once again set to benefit from the Canterbury Health System’s trademark innovative approach.
Nowhere else has health information been securely shared on such a scale, or with such a range of benefits for people who need to access healthcare.
Earlier this week, the Canterbury Health System began an advertising campaign to raise public awareness about Shared Care View, a secure patient information sharing system. As the ads say, “if you have all the pieces, it’s not a puzzle”.
Dr Nigel Millar, Canterbury DHB’s chief medical officer says the purpose of the awareness campaign is to make it clear to people the benefits for them of having clinicians share key heath information, and to make sure people know they can opt off easily if they want to.
“Everyone who lives at an address in the Canterbury DHB area has their hospital data and pharmacy data automatically included.
Early discussions with the National IT Board and the office of the Privacy Commissioner concluded that an opt-off system was appropriate, providing people know how to opt off if they want to – hence the public campaign.
’Opt off’ means that a person has the right to exclude themselves from the system so that their information is not shared.
“Providing their general practice has agreed, from September 2013, parts of people’s GP records will be visible to other clinical staff involved in their care, such as hospital clinicians or pharmacists. That’s a huge leap forward in populating Shared Care View with really valuable health information,“ Dr Millar says.
“Ongoing disruption to the Canterbury Health System means people are still not accessing health care as they used to, and that makes Shared Care View vital.
It ensures the scenario that followed the February 2011 earthquake, where many people required emergency treatment, often without the full picturetheir health records usually provide, won’t be repeated.
Dr Millar went on to explain how Shared Care View offers immediate advantages for the patient and the clinician:
“It provides Canterbury clinicians such as GPs, pharmacists and community nurses with secure access to the latest patient information, enabling them to deliver faster, safer and better care. “For example, it can tell the clinician about someone’s medications, chronic conditions and recent operations.
If it hasn’t already, it will save lives.”
Shared Care View is suitable to be progressively rolled out to other South Island DHBs in the near future, which could soon mean people will be able to receive the best possible care when they are away from home too.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to reassure people that information in Shared Care View may only be accessed by health professionals who have an active role in a person’s care - different health professionals see different things according to their role.
“As you would expect, there are stringent checks and every time a Shared Care View file is accessed it leaves a ‘footprint’ that shows who accessed it and when.
The system automatically looks for an ‘outcome’ such as an appointment, a prescription or a referral to justify the fact that information has been accessed. If no outcome is found, an audit process is triggered.
“If people are considering opting off we encourage them to talk with health professional they trust, such as their GP, for advice first so they can discuss what that might mean for their future health care. Alternatively, people can call the number given below to find out more”
People who have already decided they don’t want some or all of their health information to be shared can opt off simply by calling 0508 TESTSAFE (837 872), visiting http://healthhub.health.nz/escrv, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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