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Intrahealth Helps GPs with SARS Early Warnings

Intrahealth Helps GPs with SARS Early Warning Alerts

New Zealand healthcare software provider Intrahealth has responded to the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak by developing a useful tool for New Zealand and Australian doctors.

The add-on tool, which is free and immediately available to doctors who use Intrahealth's powerful clinical system Profile, will alert them to any patient who displays symptoms of SARS.

For example, when patient complaints like coughing, shortness of breath or a high temperature are entered into the Profile system, a pop-up message will be displayed on the computer screen, alerting the doctor to a possible SARS infection.

"The outbreak of SARS has caught the world off-guard, and it is very important that doctors are provided with the tools to help us in the early identification of this potentially fatal disease," said Auckland general practitioner, Dr Marcus Stone.

More than 1000 doctors including general practitioners and specialists in New Zealand and Australia use Profile.

"This add-on is a very timely adjunct to Profile," said Dr Graham Wright, a GP in Wollongong, Australia.

"It will bring SARS to our attention immediately when a patient shows key symptoms and allow us to act on it instantly."

Intrahealth is also able to update the message that appears on the pop-up alert if there is a new development in the SARS outbreak. For example, when SARS was classified a notifiable disease by the Ministry of Health, on March 31, this information was incorporated into the SARS alert.

"We've recognised the global importance of this disease and worked quickly to develop a diagnostic aid which will help doctors to immediately identify patients who may be infected with SARS, limit its spread and ultimately save lives," said Vice President of Business Development Dr Kannan Subramaniam.

Dr Subramaniam also sits on the Executive of the NZ Health IT Cluster, an organization advancing the nation's health care delivery through innovation. "I am confident that through the collaboration of the cluster membership we can deliver innovations like the SARS alert to all users of New Zealand made software".

** About Intrahealth:

Established in 1997 by medical doctors, Intrahealth is a New Zealand owned and operated company that develops integrated and flexible clinical systems for the healthcare industry. Intrahealth's family of products includes Profile, for integrated practice management and clinical records; Insync, for health systems management; and Accession, for facilitating patients' online access to health professionals.

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