We live in an instant world and we seek convenience. How can technology give you more of what you want while Your GP gives you more of what you need?
We never want to lose the doctor patient relationship in General Practice. It’s the most valuable part (and the most rewarding part) of our vocation and service as GPs. If we can have technology in the background rather than in the way, I think we can strengthen this. Facebook is one example.
Here’s another. Step one: buy a gaming keyboard. Step two: Program some macros. Step three: Spend more time with Our Valued Patients and less with our technology and medical software!
Here’s me cutting my login time to zero. It’s one small step for Dr Nick….
What do you think?. Is this part of the future? Too soon? Not what you want? Let me know. In the meantime, we’re all still here for you at Partridge Street General Practice, face to face, IRL 😎
Not so long ago it was quite hard to contact Your GP. You had to phone the practice to make an appointment (some waiting), come to the practice (more waiting), and then sit in the waiting room (more waiting). We live in an instant world and we seek convenience. How can technology give you more of what you want while Your GP gives you more of what you need? Try this!
More and more of our valued patients are choosing to book online but You can still call Partridge Street General Practice and we’re always happy to talk to you. You can also email us or contact us here for non-urgent inquiries, remembering that email is not a secure form of communication.
Imagine if you could ask some simple questions of Your GP, without waiting on the phone or sitting in the waiting room. Simple questions that have been asked of me in the past:
When should I come in to see you next?
I lost my script, what do I do?
I was discharged from hospital, what next?
We never want to lose the doctor patient relationship in General Practice. It’s the most valuable part (and the most rewarding part) of our vocation and service as GPs. If we can add to it, by improving communication before a face to face consult, I think we can strengthen this. We have a trial project with free access to a secure app where you can speak with me (not Facebook!). It’s not for urgent consultations! It’s free to sign up – you only pay if you use it.
What do you think – tell me here (or on the app!) about what you think. Is this part of the future? Too soon? Not what you want? Let me know. In the meantime, we’re all still here for you at Partridge Street General Practice, face to face, IRL 😎
The Australian Privacy Principles, and the recently passed (by the Australian Parliament) Mandatory Breach Notification bills provide various guidelines, which should be adhered to by anyone who handles any electronic medical data. Basically, the principles stipulate that all medical practices must ensure that all necessary measures are in place while saving, accessing and sharing any electronic medical data to keep patient data secure. Lack of compliance to the security standards could lead to large fines for both companies and individuals. Several steps can be followed by medical practices to ensure compliance to privacy standards. These steps include:
Run a complete risk assessment of the practice
Many medical practices adopted electronic health recording systems before there were clear guidelines on what these systems should contain. This means that a practice could be using electronic systems which are not compliant with current standards. To ensure compliance, a risk assessment should be done on the current systems to highlight areas in which compliance is not enforced, and to expose areas in which changes are needed. Ensure the latest version is being used, including any security patches from the vendor.
Prepare for disaster before it occurs
All data handled by a medical practice should be safe both from loss and corruption. One of the main ways of ensuring that data is not lost in case of any mishaps is backing up of medical data daily. Data should be backed up in an offsite location to ensure that in case of incidents such as natural, or man-made, disasters the data backup is not destroyed, as well. Antivirus programs should also be installed on all computers to ensure that data is not corrupted or destroyed by computer viruses, or held to ransom by cyber criminals.
Implement an ongoing employee training programme
Any system is only as strong as its weakest link, and in some cases poorly trained employees, or temporary staff, are the entry point for hackers into medical practices. It is also these staff who are more likely to have an “oops” moment and accidentally release confidential information. A medical practice could have excellent processes and systems, but if the employees don’t use their passwords to securely access records and files the system security is rendered useless, and anyone can gain access to these records. Medical practices should continually train their staff on how to follow the right security protocols, to ensure data integrity and security.
Purchase medical products with security compliance, and compatibility in mind
New equipment bought for a medical practice should be compatible with existing systems and should offer enough security features. With the advent of connected devices, the Internet of Things, it is critical that devices are secure, and kept up to date. Before making any major purchases enough review of the product should be done to ensure both security and compatibility.
Collaborate with affected parties
Changes which need to be made to bring about cyber security and privacy compliance affect many people in the practice. Affected groups should be offered training and management must ensure that staff understand the importance of compliance to everyone involved in the practice. Also, ensure that key staff are trained on what to do in the event of a breach. A comprehensive disaster plan is essential, and must be practiced regularly.
Karen Dearne, freelance journalist and former e-health writer for The Australian, has produced a review of the PCEHR, on behalf of the Consumers e-Health Alliance.
The conclusion is disappointing: It appears that the government has been successful in uploading non-clinical documents about users, but otherwise our expensive national e-health record system seems to be in a pilot stage.
The full document can be downloaded here. Below are a few quotes from the report.
The numbers are telling
“After two years and more than $1 billion in costs, only 26,332 shared health summaries have been uploaded by doctors to the troubled Personally Controlled e-Health Record system.
While the Department of Health and the National e-Health Transition Authority trumpet their ‘success’ in signing up 1.7 million Australians to date, the truth is that the system holds a mere 288,368 clinically useful documents.
Obviously, if every person who had registered had just one