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Event Summaries & The My Health Record System

I wanted to share with you my latest Webinar recording on the topic of ‘Event Summaries’ –  Click here to watch or view PowerPoint slides here.

I was asked to host this Webinar for the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) and the Australian Association of Practice Managers (AAPM) and it covers the different uses for Event Summaries versus Shared Health Summaries with Australia’s My Health Record system.  Thanks to the 500+ people who attended and I thought I’d share a few extra resources, thoughts and feedback from working with healthcare providers across Australia.

Who uses an Event Summary?

An Event Summary is a template used with the My Health Record system that would usually be uploaded by a healthcare provider who is, most commonly, not the regular GP.

Imagine for a moment how helpful it could be if an event summary was generated in the following situations:

  • A patient had chemotherapy treatment/oncology visit
  • When seeing an after-hours GP
  • Antenatal check-up
  • Treatment with allied health professional
  • Immunisation done by a pharmacy/Nurse Practitioner etc.
  • Every time a traveller had a medication change
  • When visiting specialised clinics eg diabetes, kidney health, family planning etc.

There are dozens of other situations where we can improve co-ordination of patient information. In this Webinar I talk about examples I have heard of such as nurses in outreach stations in the outback uploading event summaries after antenatal visits so that information is available to any connected GP, Specialist or hospital.

I was stunned to learn there are still pregnant women in outback Australia who receive no antenatal care and I have met some of the wonderful nurses and GP obstetricians working hard to provide care. They all tell me information sharing is a real challenge. We shouldn’t need to rely on patients carrying paper around with them and faxing is still common and often extremely inefficient. Just this week I have heard of 1 x smash repairer and 1 x hairdresser receiving health summaries by fax that were meant for hospitals!

Success Stories

The good news is, if we continue on the electronic path, hopefully there is an end in sight to the faxing and the need to constantly chase patient information. Shared Health Summaries are starting to be uploaded to the My Health Record by the regular GP (see latest statistics here). This was largely thanks to the ePIP incentive. The very low target set for uploading shared health summaries of 0.5% of the practice SWPE (click here for FAQs about ePIP) was, from what I saw, fairly easy to meet and had the desired effect of ensuring practices were connected to the system and retrained as to how easy it is to upload. Shoutout of thanks to the PHN digital health teams who did a great job helping practices and for those new to the My Health Record system please know there are a lot of training resources and information here.

I just visited two very large practices (I work as a Practice Management Consultant) and noticed they had met their ePIP quota for the next quarter within the first week of August – easy! Before anyone asks – Event summaries are not included in the ePIP quota. However, when you think about how many medications are prescribed and immunisations given in general practice each day, it certainly doesn’t take long to meet the requirement once clinicians routinely upload shared health summaries every time there is a significant change eg to medication, allergy, diagnosis, or immunisation. “It’s so easy to upload” is what clinicians are telling me now. After 4 years of training My Health Record across Australia and often hearing “This is all too hard” – the feedback “It’s easy”, is music to my ears.

Now we just need every pharmacy, hospital and other health professional connected and for use to become embedded in our clinical and administrative workflows. We need to be patient too in our expectation of immediate benefits as getting all healthcare providers connected is going to take time. Remember, building our national shared health record is “a marathon, not a sprint”.

We also need to help all our patients to register for their My Health Record and I acknowledge the feedback I am hearing daily: that finding the time and appropriate workflow for practices to register patients is difficult, so sharing tips and resources to help with this will be the focus of my next blog. I will also be talking about new features in MedicalDirector and Best Practice /Bp Premier. [If you have received this email indirectly you may wish to subscribe to my email list and future blogs will be emailed directly to you.]

Other Webinars

Change Management

A common challenge I see everywhere is simply change:

1) change to a era where patients can view their own health information (more on rights and obligations in next week’s Webinar) and
2) technology change. As I tell anyone working in health IT development – nobody ever gets into medicine because they want to work with computers! For Practice Managers who are leading technology change in their practices we ran a Webinar recently (with David Schofield from the Department of Health) on ‘Change Management’. I’m hoping you will find some helpful strategies and tips in that so click here to watch the ‘Change Management for Practice Managers’ Webinar recording.

Let’s talk Data Quality

Those of you who know me, know I am passionate about improving data quality. Data quality is still the number one barrier to use of the My Health Record system that I hear when training across Australia. If you would like to learn more strategies to help with quality improvements in your practice, join us for the next AAPM and ADHA Webinar  ‘Accreditation Standards and Data Quality‘ – click here to register.


Thanks to everyone who attends my training sessions and reads my blogs. As always I’d love to hear from you. I’d especially like to hear your challenges and good news stories. Your feedback is always important and please know I do share this with those designing our health IT systems with the aim of continual usability improvements. Your input into the design of a continually improving system is vital!

With best wishes

Katrina Otto
[email protected]





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