A new electronic “Shared Care Record” is now available for people in the MidCentral district through most of the General Practices or Family Medical Centres. This significant safety tool allows health professionals caring for patients at after hours and Accident & Medical services, to securely access essential medical information from the patients General Practice of enrolment.
Previously when a patient’s own practice closed at 5pm or over the weekend, their health records were not accessible until “normal working hours” resumed. This meant after-hours doctors couldn’t be certain about patients’ ongoing medical problems, which medications they were on and if there were had any allergies. “Our health problems don’t stop at 5pm and weekends, so why should access to our health records?” says Dr Nader Fattah, GP and Clinical Leader for the Shared Care Programme. “Whether a patient is seen at 9pm on a Saturday or 10am on a Monday, patients expect the health professionals caring for them to make safe and effective decisions based on knowledge of their vital health history. The Shared Care Record enables that.”
The Share Care record is fully funded by Central PHO to provide a free service to all MidCentral patients and practices. Patients from participating practices who visit afterhours centres at City Doctors in Victoria Street, Palmerston North, Radius Accident & Medical in Fergusson Street Palmerston North and the Horowhenua afterhours clinic in Liverpool Street, Levin, will begin to see the benefits as more health providers start using the record. While participation is voluntary for General Practices, most practices have seen this as an essential service for their patients.
Only authorised health professionals can access the information and effective safeguards are in place to ensure all information is safe. Any patient can choose to opt-out of specific information being shared or from the record as a whole at no expense. Patients that do not want their health information shared in this way can tell their general practice team, write to a Compass Health, PO Box 27380, Wellington or free-phone 0800 727 664.