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SA Health, in partnership with the Australian Digital Health Agency, has trialled secure messaging technology and is now rolling it out in a staged approach in a bid to streamline communication between hospitals and community health providers.

“Secure messaging allows hospitals and healthcare providers, including general practitioners, private specialists and allied health professionals to communicate with each other in a safe and secure manner,” said SA Health Chief Digital Health Officer Bret Morris.

The secure messaging service is active at all Local Health Networks using either the Sunrise Electronic Medical Record (EMR) or the Open Architecture Clinical Information System (OACIS).

To date, this secure messaging service has also been activated for over 300 practices and more than 2,000 individual external health professionals in South Australia and surrounding states.

Morris said the first stage of the rollout allows discharge summaries to be sent directly to participating health providers, giving them access to accurate and up-to-date patient summaries without the rigorous back-and-forth.

“Since the service was launched, around 40,000 discharge summaries have been sent out from SA Health sites, which includes both metropolitan and regional based hospitals,” Morris said.

“The system is being rolled out in a phased approach with eligible health providers sent a direct invitation to jump on board and around 10 practices being activated each day.”

“Over time, the system will expand to include other documents like electronic outpatient referrals, specialist letters and other communications from SA Health so community health providers can receive an accurate reflection of a patient’s overall health care.”

Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Amanda Cattermole said, “This technology meets rigorous security and privacy requirements, replacing existing manual processes and continuing to improve the interoperability of Australia’s broader digital health system.”

 

Original content from Hospital and Healthcare. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.

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