Digital health is the transfer of health resources and health care by electronically connecting up the points of care so that health information can be shared securely.
To find out about the Guild's Telehealth initiative, Community Pharmacy to General Practice (CP2GP), visit the Telehealth and CP2GP page under Services & Programs.
Community pharmacy in Australia leads the way in terms of its willingness to embrace Digital health and adopt innovative technologies and strategies in its mission to offer the highest standard of pharmacy and health care services.
Whether those innovations are technological, systematic or strategic in nature, the Guild has developed the necessary infrastructure and culture to implement innovation efficiently across the community pharmacy network and in such a way as to deliver significant benefits to the public.
In the area of digital health, no other profession has done more than community pharmacy in terms of investing resources to support moves to the digital health model. Key examples are:
The national My Health Record system (previously known as the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record or PCEHR) is an Australian Government initiative designed to allow doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers, such as pharmacists to view and share patients’ health information in order to improve patient care.
A My Health Record is a secure online summary of a person’s health information. Healthcare providers are able to add clinical information to the person’s My Health Record, in accordance with their access controls. This may include information such as medical history and treatments, diagnoses, medications and allergies. My Health Records are controlled by patients and secured and maintained by the Australian Digital Health Agency (the System Operator).
The My Health Record system is providing pharmacists and other healthcare professionals with quick access to information about their patients’ health. This includes information on medications, allergies and previous adverse reactions. The system aims to better connect pharmacists to patients and their prescribers, making the prescribing and dispensing of medications safer and more streamlined.
As at 23 November 2016:
To connect to the My Health Record system you will need to complete the following steps:
The My Health Records Act 2012, the My Health Records Rule 2016 and the My Health Records Regulation 2012 create the legislative framework for the My Health Record system. This legislative framework ensures that only those authorised can access the My Health Record. Misuse of patient health information is a serious matter and penalties are used in the My Health Record system, amongst other protections, to safeguard that information from reckless or intentional misuse.
Pharmacies participating in the My Health Record system should be aware of the following information in relation to their obligations:
The National Prescription and Dispense Repository (NPDR) is a medicines repository that has been developed by Fred IT Group on behalf of the Australian Government. The NPDR stores prescription and dispensed medications from different doctors, pharmacies and hospitals, that is indexed into an individual’s My Health Record. When a provider accesses a patient’s My Health Record, this information is retrieved from the NPDR and displayed to the provider in the patient’s My Health Record.
The Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (ETP) is an important foundation stone in community pharmacy’s role in digital health. ETP is the safe and secure transfer of prescription information between a prescriber (doctor, specialist, dentist, optometrist, nurse practitioner etc.) and a Community Pharmacy using an electronic system known as a Prescription Exchange Service (PES).
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