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Digital trials to provide post-hospital support to Australians by reducing medication errors

Digital trials to provide post-hospital support to Australians by reducing medication errors

Patients from all over Australia will
benefit from 15 new projects that will utilise the information from a
consenting patient’s My Health
Record
to improve the delivery of their healthcare.

As announced
by the Australian Digital Health Agency, digital trials will be conducted to
help patients manage their medication better after they leave the hospital in
order to reduce unplanned and early hospital readmission due to medication
errors.

The A$8.5 million Digital Health Test Beds
program will be testing new approaches to chronic health, palliative care, and
post hospital support.

Eastern Health and Monash University
are undertaking a trial that will help patients manage their medication better
after they leave hospital. The trial will involve a lot of participants with
more than 290 community pharmacies and 5,000 patients taking part.

Community pharmacists will be connected, by
the projects, to information in hospitals so that they can help the patients
with the medicines being given to them as they transition from being in the
hospital to being home.

Healthcare providers will be able to share
useful patient-specific information about the medicines during the transition
period from the hospital to the community.

Based from experience, patients who leave
hospitals on new medications can find the information on how much they should
take and when they should take it, very confusing. Because of these medication
errors, almost a quarter of a million Australians are hospitalised.

The objective of this program is to reduce
unplanned and early hospital readmission brought about by medication errors by
utilising evidence-based research.

A$ 374.2 million is being invested by the
Turnbull Government to expand Australia’s My Health Record for every
Australian. My Health Record is a
secure online summary of an individual’s health information.

Having a My Health Record allows a
patient’s important health information such as allergies, medical conditions
and treatments, medicine details and scan reports to be accessed through one
system. Healthcare providers such as doctors, pharmacists, and hospital staff
can securely access the record online when they need to treat a patient
especially during cases of emergency.

Every Australian will be offered a My
Health Record by the end of 2018 unless they choose not to have one during the
three-month opt out period that will run from 16 July to 15 October 2018.

Data as of 24 June 2018 shows that 5.89
million Australians have already registered for a My Health Record; a total of
12,763 healthcare organisations are registered including general practices,
hospitals, pharmacies and aged care services; and 20.7 million prescription and
dispense records have been uploaded.

Widespread support for my Health Record is being
given by national health peak bodies such as the Consumers Health Forum,
Australian Medical Association, Royal Australian College of General
Practitioners, Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Pharmacy Guild of Australia, and
the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association.

An earlier
announcement from the Australian Digital Health Agency highlighted the national
education and training package on My Health Record that is being delivered to
hospital pharmacists, which aims to inform them of the My Health Record
expansion in 2018.

A previous communication by the Australian
Digital Health Agency highlighted
how Australians living in WA, NSW, and Queensland would be granted access to
diagnostic imaging reports. The report also discussed how the My Health Record
system caters to the complex needs of palliative care patients.

Recently, the Australian Digital Health Agency
also released
a 3-month opt out period for My Health Record that will run from 16 July to 15
October 2018. Since every Australian will be offered a My Health Record, they
can choose not to have one during the said period.

Similarly, an earlier release
threw light on the framework for My Health Record that allows it to deliver
better outcomes for patients. The Framework defines how data on the My Health
Record system can be used for research and public health purposes while
preserving privacy and security of data in the system.

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