One of the key problems facing Australian health care professionals continues to be the lack of consolidated medications information and an inability to easily share information between health professionals. When patients move between community care and hospital and aged care, the absence of good quality and up to date clinical data can contribute to these interactions becoming high risk, resulting in medication misadventures and unnecessary hospital readmissions.
Medications reconciliation remains a largely manual process throughout Australia, providing a glaring reminder of the implications around the lack of shared clinical data on patient welfare. Thankfully, technology advances are making significant inroads into this problem, with the development of new applications such as the MedView Medicines Workspace.
The MedView Medicines Workspace is an update on the original MedView pilot which took place in the Barwon Region of Victoria. The pilot tackled the problem around the lack of visibility of clinical data between different sectors, drawing together medication information from healthcare professionals in community, hospital and aged care settings. As a result and in an Australian first, health professionals who took part in the trial were able to see a combined list of patients’ prescribed and dispensed medications from across all of these settings.
The pilot found that the sharing of clinical data, with patient consent, resulted in better medications management and safer outcomes for patients. MedView demonstrated the capacity of web applications to draw on data captured by existing systems, especially eRx Script Exchange, as a way of delivering extra value for health users and health professionals.
In community pharmacy and GP clinics, it is not uncommon to see patients who are confused about what medications they should be taking according to their discharge summary. The MedView Medicines Workspace will help alleviate this problem by allowing doctors, pharmacists, hospitals, aged care settings and patients to have shared access to critical medicines information and services.
With MedView Medicines Workspace, authorised health care providers will be able to view hospital data and pharmacy data at the same time, regardless of whether they are in My Health Record (MyHR) or MedView. They can then curate the data into a reconciled list, which can also be verified with additional input from the patient. Should the patient then present at a hospital or clinic, the clinician can view the reconciled list, complete with details on who curated the list and when, enabling a well-informed discussion with the patient about their medication.
The MedView pilot was focused solely on providing a consolidated list of all prescribed and dispensed medications of a patient for practitioners to see. This was a significant achievement in itself, however there was no capacity to interact directly with the data provided and improve the quality of the information held.
Four years on and taking it a step further, the new MedView Medicines Workspace will be a hub for authorised third parties to integrate with and deliver additional medications management services such as, medications reconciliation, medications monitoring and compliance monitoring – allowing clinicians to contribute data back to MyHR.