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Technology to improve patient safety in primary care

Technology to improve patient safety in primary care

Health Minister Tony Ryall is today launching a new electronic health record which will give doctors instant access to the medical history of new patients.

Speaking to doctors at the Royal New Zealand College of GPs joint conference with General Practice New Zealand, Mr Ryall says, "The new GP2GP system will allow patients' GP records to be transferred electronically rather than faxed or posted in paper copy.

"We've all heard the stories about people changing doctors, and there is a delay in the transfer of their medical information or even worse, it gets lost.

"This technology will put an end to that cumbersome manual transfer, and more importantly, it reduces the risk of patient's getting the wrong treatment or medication," says Mr Ryall.

GP2GP is another step towards an integrated health IT record, which is centred on the health needs of each patient.

The technology has been piloted in 65 general practices and is due to be rolled out nationwide in coming weeks.

A new community e-prescribing system, which is being trialled at a GP practice and a pharmacy in Auckland, was also demonstrated at the conference.

This system will reduce the need for a patient's medication details to be transcribed from a prescription into the pharmacy IT system, reducing the risk of errors from unclear hand writing or ambiguous terminology.

A wider roll out of e-prescribing is expected over the next two or so years.

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