When eight Queensland disabilities service providers formed a partnership to roll out a shared care record, they chose Extensia to create a tailored My eRecord to ensure people with disabilities and their families were spared from having to tell their stories over and over again to new healthcare or service providers.
The eight organisations – the Endeavour Foundation, Cerebral Palsy League, Life Without Barriers, Centacare, Uniting Care Community, FSG Australia, Multicap and Spinal Injuries Australia – formed a limited company called G8EHR to set up the system to allow them to share information securely and give consumers control of their own information.
“We all have shared clients, we all support people who also access services from other organisations, and we were talking about how we could make it easier for our clients and for ourselves in capturing and not losing that information,” Jo Jessop, the CEO of high needs disability service provider Multicap, told PulseIT.
While RecordPoint is a shared health record, its use is wider in this project to suit the needs of people with disabilities who often have multiple complex medical and nonmedical needs. They have greater exposure to inpatient, outpatient and emergency hospital care, community nursing, physiotherapy and non-hospital rehabilitation, and primary care services. Plus, in-home, residential and community services can assist with the maintenance of nutrition, hygiene, medication management, pressure care, transport to health-related appointments, and disease management education.
My eRecord allows a person with a disability and their family or decision-maker to save their health records, medications, test results and other records from across the care journey, together with additional social information that service providers might need to know – all in a central place. They grant access to providers such as GPs, specialists and allied health professionals, as well as their service providers.
“For many of our clients that have multiple disabilities, who cannot speak, who have challenging and complex behaviours, it is a place to keep that information so it doesn’t get lost,” Ms Jessop said.
More than 4 million Australians have a disability – around 18 per cent of the population.
In 2019, the Disability Royal Commission was established in response to community concern about widespread reports of violence against, and the neglect, abuse and exploitation of, people with disability. In its hearings, the royal commission, which is ongoing, has heard disturbing testimony, including the case of a woman who almost died when care workers failed to follow her care plan.
“Care plans can be complex and involve multiple providers,” David Clarke, CEO of Hills which has acquired Extensia, said.
“An easy to use and secure shared health record such as Extensia’s can allow practitioners and service providers to see the information they need and add in their notes in real-time. It’s a game-changer, as the Queensland project shows. There is an imperative for organisations nationally to now provide the system to the people in their care.”
RecordPoint can also help improve outcomes for people with disabilities living in outer regional and remote areas who are less likely than those living in major cities to see a GP, medical specialist or dentist, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Instead, they are more likely to visit hospital emergency departments for non-hospital services. A higher proportion also report that they have experienced issues caused by a lack of communication between health professionals (ABS 2019a).
In November 2021, new MBS items were made available for allied health professionals working with GPs, non-GP specialists or consultants to provide early diagnosis and treatment of autism and other developmental disorders. The new Medicare support is in response to recommendations in the MBS Review, with the Department of Health saying it will “improve care coordination and deliver better outcomes to patients with complex needs who have multiple care providers”. Multidisciplinary conferences to discuss diagnosis, as well as care and treatment plans can be held in person, via video or on the phone..
“There really is no excuse to have disjointed care fuelled by poor information exchange anymore. Our most vulnerable Australians should be given access to the digital health technologies that are proven to provide better care,” Mr Clarke said.
Improved quality of care for patients
Reduced duplication of services by improved monitoring and care coordination
Improved patient and family knowledge enabling self-managed health
Improved knowledge of health services
Reduced risk of hospital admissions and unnecessary readmissions
Increased practice capacity to manage patients with chronic or multiple conditions.
Coordinated care for chronic disease
User security and authentication
Interface to desktop clinical systems
Centralised, hosted, shared EHR
Patient consent management.
HOW DOES RECORDPOINT ENABLE COORDINATED CARE?
RecordPoint clearly displays information from along a patient’s care continuum by integrating with primary, secondary and tertiary health software and non-clinical software systems.
Its ease of use encourages genuine collaboration between healthcare providers for care planning, which is why it has been deployed in Indigenous health, aged care, clinical trials, disabilities care, and chronic disease management in metropolitan, regional, remote settings. It has also been used to share information and enable coordinated care between state-run hospitals and Commonwealth-funded primary care systems.
By aggregating data, RecordPoint also fuels innovation by improving the functionality of health apps, AI, machine learning, mobile devices and emerging technologies.
Meanwhile, each RecordPoint community is able to have its own tailored consent model and data governance oversight.