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Wairarapa doctors sharing info for better care

Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health

13 August 2013 Media Statement
Wairarapa doctors sharing info for better care

A new system to share patients’ health information electronically is helping doctors, nurses and pharmacists in the Wairarapa make better decisions about patient treatment and care.

Health Minister Tony Ryall visited Masterton Hospital emergency department (ED) and two general practices today where he heard from doctors how patients are receiving better care thanks to the Shared Care Record.

“The Shared Care Record was introduced in the Wairarapa region in December 2011. It allows hospital clinicians to access key parts of the patient's GP record on health conditions, history and medicines, with the patient’s permission,” says Mr Ryall.

“Work is also underway for some of the hospital information to be available to general practices and pharmacies through the Shared Care Record.

“When patients arrive at ED, doctors and nurses can now look up information about the medicines they are taking, and any medical warnings or allergy alerts. ED clinicians have the information they need at their fingertips, and this is resulting in better treatment for Wairarapa people.

“One of the ED doctors I met today estimated the Shared Care Record is saving him around 20 minutes per patient and avoids him asking patients to repeat information they have already told their GP.

“Around 70 per cent of Wairarapa patients have a Shared Care Record – this will rise to 95 per cent when two more general practices join next month.

“Patients are able to ‘opt out’ so their health information is not shared, but I’ve been told very few have chosen to do so,” says Mr Ryall.

Results have been so positive in the Wairarapa, Compass Health is rolling out the system at Capital & Coast and MidCentral District Health Boards.

ENDS

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