A Community Liaison Officer speaks about eHealth at Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service in Whyalla

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Currently in South Australia we have two electronic health records:

My eHealth Record:

Is only available to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations in South Australia.  The system operator for the My eHealth record is The NT Department of Health.

Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR)

This is available to all participating healthcare organisations within Australia including hospitals, community clinics, pharmacies and private GP surgeries. The system operator for the PCEHR is the Commonwealth department of Health and Ageing.

The eHealth record system is an electronic record for a patient that contains a summary of their health information. It is a key element of the national health reform agenda around making the health system more agile and sustainable.

With the introduction of the eHealth record system, healthcare organisations will have faster, easier access to more health information, creating a more efficient system, making continuity of care easier and improving treatment decisions.

A personally controlled eHealth record is a secure online summary of your health information. You control what goes into it, and who is allowed to access it.

Your eHealth record allows you and your doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers to view and share your health information to provide you with the best possible care.

At Nunyara we have been funded for an ‘Assisted Registration Officer’.  This was developed so that patients can register for an eHealth record with support and guidance from those healthcare provider organisations involved in their care and whose guidance they trust.  By providing assisted registration our patients can be helped to sign up for an eHealth record.

The benefits of an eHealth record will be most significant for patients who need to share information with different providers or who have complex conditions. This might include those with chronic conditions, mothers and newborns, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people with a disability, and older Australians.

Assisted registration is useful in remote locations where access to the internet may be limited for patients, but available to healthcare providers.

My role at Nunyara has given me the ability to have confidence, motivation and determination to successfully achieve the goals of the service plus my personal goals.  Along the journey of my employment I have gained a range of skills and knowledge in different areas of the clinic and medical reception, and I am now confident in the clinic as well as getting people registered for their personally controlled electronic health record. Over the last 12 months I have:

  • Built better relationships for both client and associates
  • Implemented and gained understanding of processes within Nunyara and the My eHealth program
  • Transitioned Nunyara from the My eHealth to the National eHealth program(PCEHR)
  • Educated and registered people for the National eHealth Record
  • developed strategies for the eHealth program
  • further developed my Clinical and clerical skills

I have committed myself 100% to my work load and have registered over 300 people to the My eHealth Record before the change to the PCEHR.

“I help our clients to send their consent forms electronically and receive back a personal code. When I receive that code I send it out to the clients and they can connect themselves or they can come in and I can help them to set up their PCEHR”.

I have been trained and now have the knowledge to help people set their electronic health record.

I have also undertaken training in Certificate III in Aboriginal Primary Health Care delivered by Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia as well as the Assisted Registration training and mandatory training at Nunyara.

I have recorded 263 client contacts between July 2012 and June 2013.

I have registered 51 people for the PCEHR and the numbers are still growing as a lot of people become aware of the benefits of the PCEHR.

Sayonara Smith – E-Health / PECHR Assisted Registration Officer

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