Following the successful trialling of the co-designed standards to improve the secure exchange of healthcare information in 2018, the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has announced that it is partnering with 42 organisations to ensure they are able to easily share information when using different secure messaging platforms across 56 separate software products.

WHY IT MATTERS

Most clinicians can only correspond electronically with healthcare providers who use the same secure messaging software. These enhancements will allow clinicians to more easily address messages to healthcare providers who are on other secure messaging platforms and will ensure messages and acknowledgements are sent in standard formats. Breaking down these silos will allow clinicians to achieve the full potential of secure messaging and will support the move to axe both the fax and the scanner.

General Manager of eHealth Solutions at Telstra Health, Tania Oldaker, said this is a great example of collaboration between software organisations and the Agency to support the work of general practitioners, specialists, allied health practitioners and other providers across Australia.

“We’ve worked closely with the Agency and our colleagues in the software industry to develop these new secure messaging standards and test them in a proof-of-concept implementation,” Ms Oldaker said.

“Now it’s time to scale this work nationally, and we’re excited to be implementing these changes across our product suite.”

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

In July, ADHA partnered with nine specialist software vendors and provided them with A$40,000 each to complete designs that seamlessly and securely integrate the My Health Record (MHR) into their current systems. ADHA’s Chief Clinical Information Officer, Angela Ryan said that the Agency is leading a national consultation which will recommend the appropriate data and digital standards for connected healthcare by the end of 2019, according to a recent interview with Healthcare IT News. 

ON THE RECORD

“We have made significant progress on secure messaging by working with industry on a provider directory model that breaks down barriers between clinicians, while still leveraging the investment that the secure messaging industry has made to date,” said Bettina McMahon, Chief Operating Officer, ADHA in a statement. 

“This is the next step that will ensure those new standards are adopted quickly so GPs, hospitals, specialists and other health practitioners can reap the full benefits of secure messaging, which include timelier receipt of clinical information and not having to chase or resend referrals.”

“It also means we are one step closer to retiring fax machines, which is a priority of the National Digital Health Strategy agreed to by all Australian governments through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council,” Ms McMahon concluded. 



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