Community health care goes digital

21 December 2016

Seven-year program concludes successfully

eHealth NSW has ended yet another dynamic year with a major milestone – the successful completion of the Community Health and Outpatient Care (CHOC) program across the state.

CHOC extends the electronic medical record (eMR) and now supports clinicians and the coordination of patient care at 333 outpatient and community care facilities across all Local Health Districts (LHDs) and Health Networks.

This successfully concludes a seven-year program of work delivering digital access to a patient’s clinical information across NSW community health and outpatient care services including Aboriginal Health; Aged and Chronic Care; Allied Health; Child, Youth and Family; Community Home Nursing; Sexual Health; Mental Health; and Drug and Alcohol.

With CHOC, clinicians across these care settings now have timely access to information previously captured on paper. It also helps them to manage appointment scheduling, wait lists and referrals between local health service providers.

The six Rural LHDs have also completed the roll-out of eMR2, which extends the electronic medical record with a range of clinical documentation, assessment and decision support components to enhance care for patients in hospitals.

Rick Turner, eMR Connect’s Program Manager for the Rural LHDs and Health Networks, who has led the development and roll-out of CHOC since 2011, said CHOC offers real benefits in achieving truly ‘joined-up’ patient care.

“This could only be accomplished with the buy-in of the many hundreds of clinicians working in community care services who’ve been open to a new and improved way of working,” Rick said.

“This achievement also represents a considerable collaboration between eHealth NSW and the LHDs. I’d like to express my sincere thanks to all those on site in the health services, in the LHDs and the team at eHealth NSW for their hard work over so many years.”

Dr Zoran Bolevich, eHealth NSW’s Chief Executive and Chief Information Officer, said the completion of CHOC was an important step in achieving a statewide, comprehensive eMR.

“Congratulations to the LHDs, the team in eMR Connect, all those involved across eHealth NSW and our IT industry partners in bringing this major program to a successful conclusion,” said Zoran. “Good governance is a hallmark of any effective program. The CHOC steering committee has guided the program from its inception and I would also like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to its members for their expertise, insights and contribution over many years.”

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