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Thursday, 23 August 2012 12:47

InterSystems deployed to create eHealth records for mums

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Queensland’s Mater Health Services has used a system from global healthcare systems provider, InterSystems, to rapidly develop an eHealth record for expectant mothers.

Mater's Chief Information Officer, Mal Thatcher, said that by offering an electronic alternative to the paper-based Pregnancy Health Record currently issued by Queensland Health to public maternity hospitals, the new system was already benefiting both patients and clinicians.

According to Thatcher, in a recent example, when a pregnant woman was rushed to Mater's Pregnancy Assessment and Observation Unit, Mater staffs were able to expedite her critical treatment by having immediate access to the patient's obstetric record and latest test results due to her private obstetrician electronically sharing the information through his practice system.

"What we have developed and implemented is a repository for obstetric information with access for maternity patients, internal clinicians, and participating external healthcare providers."

InterSystems' technology for rapid application development enabled Mater to complete the federally funded eHealth project in nine months, with three months for design and just six months for implementation. Having successfully delivered the project prior to the agreed 30 June 2012 deadline, Mater Health Services has now been contracted for a further transition project to formalise a national Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) standard for obstetric information.

Intersystems’ Group Commercial Director, Steve Garrington, said the company’s HealthShare healthcare informatics platform for rapid application development had enabled Mater to complete the federally funded eHealth project in nine months, with three months for design and just six months for implementation.

“Having successfully delivered the project prior to the agreed 30 June 2012 deadline, Mater Health Services has now been contracted for a further transition project to formalise a national Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) standard for obstetric information.”

Mater's Integration Specialist, Andy Richards, HealthShare had allowed the organisation to rapidly put together a system that, with another technology platform, “would have required more programmers and a lot more work."

HealthShare comes with a series of pre-built and pre-tested building blocks, like support for the CDA standard, Secure Messaging Delivery adaptors, and transformation engines for clinical data, so we didn't have to develop any of them ourselves."

Richards said Mater used HealthShare to communicate with general practitioners and visiting medical officers to receive specialist obstetric information via the Secure Messaging Delivery technical specification developed by the National E-Health Transition Authority and published by Standards Australia.

“Obstetric information is sent from external clinicians' systems using the HL7 CDA standard. HealthShare transforms incoming CDA files, which include three different interpretations of the CDA standard, into a single standard document type and extracts relevant information to create an obstetric patient record. The original CDA file is attached to the record for future reference.

“HealthShare then combines the obstetric patient record with information from a range of other Mater systems, such as patient registration, pharmacy and pathology, to create the Mater Shared HER,” Richards said.

Garrington said that InterSystems, by supporting Australian connected healthcare services and standards, was accelerating the delivery of systems under government electronic health record initiatives.

"Mater Health Services is a model for other organisations seeking to provide secure and consistent access to regional and national infrastructure such as the National eHealth Record System."


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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