The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) is rolling out new technology that will reduce the administrative burden placed on healthcare provider organisations by allowing them to update key information from one place.
The new Provider Connect Australia service is estimated to deliver economic benefits of more than $30 million per year by 2025.
In the past, healthcare provider organisations have needed to fill out between 10 and 20 forms to notify different parts of the healthcare system whenever service or practitioner information has changed.
Organisations can now use Provider Connect Australia to update their contact details. The service will then automatically send the new details to other areas of the healthcare system, including hospitals, pathology and radiology services, public service directories, and secure messaging providers.
ADHA CEO Amanda Cattermole said the service would benefit patients and health professionals.
“By providing this national service, the agency can improve the quality and reliability of healthcare service details in directories and other services, including Medicare, and significantly reduce the administrative burden on healthcare organisations,” she said.
“The objective is to improve the efficiency of administrative processes for publishers and subscribers managing their data and help provide prompt, safe and seamless patient care across settings and providers.”
Filling out forms manually can lead to inaccurate and out-of-date information, which can in turn impact efficiency and quality of care, according to the ADHA.
A trial of the new service in Northern NSW last year found 99% of participating practitioner records held in the Local Health District address book were out of date, the agency noted. It said Provider Connect Australia allowed updates to be made ‘quickly and seamlessly’.
General practitioner and ADHA chief clinical adviser Dr Steve Hambleton said he looked forward to using the service in his practice.
“Provider Connect Australia will deliver efficiencies for practice support staff who will only have to update any changes in practice information once and will increase confidence at the point of care that all of the incoming information about patients will be there, and that outgoing address books are complete and up-to-date,” he said.
Cattermole said the technology would also drive greater interoperability and adoption of secure messaging across the healthcare system.
“Secure messaging is a key strategic priority under the National Digital Health Strategy and the agency is delivering this new feature of the national digital health infrastructure to enable healthcare providers to easily find each other to securely share patient information,” she said.