Recently, ADEA in collaboration with the Australian Medicare Local Alliance (AML Alliance) sent out a survey to a number of members and their organisations to assess their readiness for eHealth within their organisation. Please see below for a summary of the results from the survey.
- 91 % of respondents were aware of, or wanted to know more about eHealth.
- Most respondents are in the awareness stage, with 18% being eHealth ready or working towards the adoption of eHealth; only 6% have not heard of, or are not supportive of eHealth.
- More than 95% of respondents have internet connectivity.
- 46% of all patient records are computerised:
- 96% of respondents are already using computers to view and enter client notes during consultations; and
- 87% use computer software for clinical purposes – with 58% of respondents already use GP PCHER-compliant software.
- 36% indicated their practice is registered or in the process of registering for eHealth; 39% wanted to know more information before they register. Only 3% were unlikely to register.
- 69% intend to encourage all, or specific patients to participate in the PCHER once they are set up.
- 18% of respondents are already registered personally as consumers; with 52% planning on signing up in the future.
- 28% use secure messaging, mostly to send/receive information about patients (e.g. pathology results), followed by eReferrals.
- 50% are indecisive and/or have limited information/awareness of eHealth with 40% of respondents requesting to be followed up by their Medicare Local.
Interaction with GPS
Most are still using non-electronic ways of communicating with GPs (Phone 80%; Letter/Post 70%; and Fax 61%).
The key message is that referrals from doctors are often incomplete leading to having to follow-up further and get more information. Often important information such as pathology results and medication updates is missing, or completely lack any medical history at all.
Sharing information and having access to a patient’s eHealth record enables both GPs and other healthcare providers to obtain information that may be missing in other forms of communication.
Computerisation, Software and Connectivity
Despite 95% of respondents being connected to the internet or other relevant software, only 46% indicated that patient records were computerised.
Computer use varied, with most common use as:
- Viewing and entering client notes during and/or after consultation (96%)
- Client contact database (87%)
- Client booking and scheduling (86%)
- Participating in team care arrangements (55%)
- Sending/receiving referrals from GPs (54%)
- Sharing health records with practitioners (46%)
- Billing and client rebates (40%)
- 79% are very satisfied in using their software for clinical purposes
Of those that are computerised:
- 87% use computer software for clinical purposes
- 58% use conformant GP software
- 79% very satisfied or satisfied in using their software for clinical purposes, and most are using conformant GP software
- Those not very satisfied with their software, most (77%) were using non-conformant GP software
eHealth and the PCEHR Awareness
- 91% of respondents are aware or want to know more about eHealth.
- More than half (69%) indicated they are aware of the national eHealth record, PCEHR, or general eHealth principles and initiatives.
- 22% were not sure and want to know more.
- Only a few 9% were not aware.
- 36% were already registered or in the process of being registered.
- Those already registered: approx 62% are already using conformant GP software.
- Half (50%) acknowledged they need more information or are still considering whether to register for eHealth.
Assisted consumer registration
- Most (56%) intend to encourage patients to participate in the PCEHR once they are set up.
- 13% would for specific patients only.
- 24% or need more information.
- 7% do not intend to sign up patients.
- 52% are planning to sign up for an eHealth record as a consumer.
- 18% already registered.
- 29% not interested or note sure.
Healthcare Organisation registration (HPI-O):
- 26% have registered their healthcare organisation (HPI-O) with the HI Service.
- 47% are not sure and would like to know more.
Individual Healthcare Provider (HPI-I):
- 20% know or have applied for HPI-I; 80% do not know and are not sure.
Secure message delivery (SMD):
- 28% are using SMD; 46% are not; 26% not sure and would like to know more.
- Secure messaging mostly used to send/receive information about patients (e.g. pathology results), followed by eReferrals, and other information.
- 27% use it daily, 13% rarely, and 12% once a week.
- Most respondents were not sure if the practice has applied for the digital certificate (NASH PKI) for SMD.
Healthcare practice education, training and development activities
- 19% indicated their practice has or is participating in eHealth activities.
- 27% said no but would like to participate.
- 43% were not sure.
eHealth change and adoption journey
- 76% aware of eHealth.
- 18% are eHealth ready or working towards the adoption of eHealth.
- Only 6% indicated they have not heard of or not supportive of eHealth.
Key Issues and Challenges Moving Forward
(1) Lack of understanding, information, and support on eHealth
Respondents appeared to be unsure about how eHealth works or fits in with their current workflows and the potential benefits to Diabetes Educators.
(2) Limited time
There was a perception that eHealth implementation will add administrative time to already limited capacity, taking away time from a patient consultation.
There was a concern around the cost to get set up for eHealth including the purchase of software, and administrative costs of setting up electronic medical records for each patient.
(4) Practice Managers are often decision makers
As most diabetes educators work within GP setting or with multiple allied health providers, practice manager engagement is key to decisions regarding eHealth implementation
(5) Privacy and Security
Need to provide information already available that addresses privacy and security concerns.
Over the coming months, ADEA and AML Alliance will continue to work together to assist ADEA members and their organisations get eHealth ready. We will be producing a number of webinars, resources and information to assist you and your organistion in this journey.
If you have any questions, please email Louise Gilmour on firstname.lastname@example.org