HealthLink has hit a significant milestone with 20,000 fitness to drive medical certificates submitted to the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) agency using its SmartForms technology since the capability went live just over a year ago.
SmartForms allow medical practices to submit clinical documents such as medical certificates and referrals directly from within the user interface of their practice management system rather than going out to an external location or via a toolbar.
HealthLink founder Tom Bowden said RMS is the largest of the company’s SmartForms projects in Australia and there are nearly 4,000 SmartForms sent out every month. The technology has been used for a number of years in New Zealand, where 8,000 SmartForms are sent every day and it is used for about 60 per cent of hospital referrals.
In Auckland, for example, all GP to hospital eReferrals are sent electronically. Auckland GPs and other healthcare providers have a range of 75 hospital referral forms to choose from, which can be accessed directly from within the GP’s PMS or via a standalone referrals portal that is purpose built for sending referrals.
“Referrers and hospital clinicians are able to use the system for a two-way dialogue and the system is also used to enable hospital staff to provide advice to referrers,” Mr Bowden said. “This lowers the need for hospital referrals and it enables patients to get access to care more quickly.
“HealthLink is working with clinician groups to expand its eReferrals system to enable hospital clinicians to refer patients to external services and to improve GPs’ access to diagnostic services and other community delivered capabilities.”
SmartForms also forms the basis of the CareSelect community referrals system, which has seen a 100 per cent increase in use over the past 12 months, Mr Bowden said. CareSelect can be used to refer to community-based specialists and allied healthcare providers as well as government and non-government agencies.
In Australia, the RMS medical certificates solution has been used by more than 700 NSW general practices and the vast majority of practices in the country are now able to launch a HealthLink SmartForm as the standards-based Aduro interface has been integrated into the leading software brands MedicalDirector, Best Practice and Genie.
Mr Bowden said HealthLink was close to achieving its goal of getting full coverage by the three vendors and the company is now working with a number of smaller and more specialised vendors to achieve the integration.
The company is also integrating the clinical document architecture (CDA) messaging format with SmartForms and has been using both technologies in some of the hospital eReferrals trials being sponsored by the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA).