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Year in Review:
Connecting with our community

22 December 2022

The news items below are included in our eHealth NSW 2022 Year in Review newsletter.

Download the 2022 Year in Review

NSW Health App prototype

As part of the digitisation of patient experience, eHealth NSW is developing and testing how digital technology can improve consumer access to NSW Health information and services and empower patients to be more active participants in their healthcare.

A joint initiative with the Ministry of Health and the Department of Customer Service, this year we’ve developed a prototype for the NSW Health App. One of several ‘digital front doors’ we’re creating to better connect consumers to their care.

The initial prototype will provide simple, easy to access and up to date information about NSW Health services. Overtime, as more features and functionality are progressively released, it will become a personalised pocket guide to the health system. We are working with LHD partners, the Department of Customer Service, consumer reference groups and individual consumers to co-design and test the prototype ready for wider release in 2023.

Over 300 consumers participated in private beta testing during July with follow up consumer research conducted in Eurobodalla and Dubbo in November 2022.

The findings from this and future consumer engagement events will be instrumental in informing design and implementation of the prototype and other digital channels well into the future.

Improving the safe use of monitored medicines

The state’s real time prescription monitoring system, SafeScript NSW, became available to all practising prescribers and pharmacists in NSW in May 2022.

Through SafeScript NSW, prescribers and pharmacists have access to real-time information about a patient’s prescribing and dispensing history for certain high-risk medicines.

Delivered by eHealth NSW in partnership with the Ministry of Health, SafeScript NSW is helping to improve clinical decision-making and keep patients safe. The uptake of the system has been strong and health practitioners report they find it to be a helpful clinical tool.

“SafeScript NSW is integrated really well with clinical software and easy to use. I have a lot more insight and information about what is going on with my patients now, which helps me to make safer decisions about my patients’ care,” said Dr Natalie Cordowiner, GP, Central Coast, NSW.

“It’s an essential tool for pharmacists to dispense these medications safely,” said Karen Carter, Community Pharmacist, Gunnedah, NSW.

Close consultation with clinicians and consumers has been at the heart of SafeScript NSW. The team has engaged with general practitioners, community pharmacists, pain management, drug and alcohol specialists, and clinical peak bodies, as well as Primary Health Networks and LHDs.

Consumer representative groups and individuals with lived experience of chronic pain or drug dependence were also consulted.

The team partnered with Painaustralia and the NSW Users and AIDS Association to ensure consumers’ perspectives were incorporated into the design and rollout of the system and to raise awareness.

Visit here to learn more about SafeScript NSW.

Patient feedback captured through HOPE drives improvements in care

n 2022, the Health Outcomes and Patient Experience (HOPE) platform continued to be rolled out statewide, with 580 sites/services now having access to the system.

New features introduced this year include COVID-19 surveys, surveys for the Trauma Outcomes Registry and Quality Evaluation cohort, Paediatric Integrated Care survey enhancements, translations for additional surveys and patient consent, reporting enhancements, improved user interface and usability enhancements.

HOPE is an IT platform that enables patients to provide direct and timely feedback about their outcomes and experiences that matter to them, and to their healthcare teams. This enables clinicians to speak with their patient about what matters to them, helping provide a more holistic picture of their healthcare needs.

“Sylvia’s survey response allowed us to address fear as part of her healthcare, potentially avoiding care complications or a refracture down the road,” said Aaron Hall, Osteoporosis Refracture Prevention Coordinator, Nepean Hospital, Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD).

“At the first appointment, it felt like Aaron already knew me thanks to the information I’d submitted. The survey also made me consider things I hadn’t before. I’d been counting the steps in our house, so I didn’t miss one and fall; and hesitating getting out of the shower,” said Sylvia, a patient at Nepean Hospital.

The program is gaining recognition having been selected as a finalist for the 2022 NSW Premier’s Awards - Excellence in Digital Innovation category and the 2022 itNews Benchmark Awards - Best Health Project.

Statewide eReferrals solution pilots at Sydney and Northern NSW LHDs

In partnership with the Ministry of Health and stakeholders from LHDs, eHealth NSW is delivering a new statewide digital outpatient referral management solution, Engage Outpatients.

This will improve the referral experience of patients, referrers and clinicians in outpatient services.

Many referrers, including GPs, and outpatient clinics still rely on manual, paper-based processes including fax and post. Currently referrers and patients are not notified of the status of their referral.

The Engage Outpatients solution enables referrals to be sent digitally to outpatient services and notifies both referrers and patients of referral outcomes. It features electronic secure messaging, improving communication between clinicians, referrers, administrative staff and patients.

Engage Outpatients went live at Sydney LHD in April 2022 and Northern NSW LHD in September 2022.

By 17 November 2022 there were 16 services live and over 3000 referrals processed via the eReferral Management System (eRMS) element of Engage Outpatients.

“We are grateful to work with eHealth NSW on this pilot, so our patients at RPA can be amongst the first to experience the difference digital patient journeys can make to their experience of outpatient care,” said Richard Taggart, Chief Information Officer, SLHD.

SLHD staff are reporting increased satisfaction with the new eReferrals solution:

“Overall the EO platform is an excellent management system for new referrals and an efficient process for receiving referrals and documents from GPs.” “Engage Outpatients is much easier than the paper referral.”

Planning for the statewide rollout is underway with implementation across LHDs and SHNs targeted until June 2024.

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