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Access to patient information links up GP and hospital care

From today Waikato DHB will provide Waikato general practitioners (GPs) with access to its clinical computer system so it can share important patient treatment information.

Access will be read-only and apply to information such as previous and future appointments, radiology and laboratory results, clinic letters, discharge summaries, theatre events, and the patient’s demographics and medications.

“It is another important step in linking up the healthcare of a person. It reflects how doctors in hospitals and in the community need to work together to provide the best care for a patient,” says Damian Tomic, the DHB’s clinical director of primary and integrated care.

Damian Tomic, Clinical Director Primary and Integrated Care

Damian Tomic, Clinical Director Primary and Integrated Care

“Already we share a lot of information. For example, when a patient leaves hospital a discharge summary is sent to their GP.”

The new process gives more detailed and timely information.

GPs will have remote access to the Waikato DHB’s clinical workstation computer system that brings together key information about a patient’s journey from assessment to the end of treatment.

Allowing access inevitably raises patient privacy concerns, and Waikato DHB looked hard at the implications and what needed to be done to protect patient privacy.

GPs will need to subscribe to the service, and are required to acknowledge privacy and security responsibilities. They will be monitored as part of the DHB’s normal practice for its own hospital staff.

They will also need to get verbal consent from a patient before accessing that person’s information in the DHB’s clinical workstation system.

 

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