Better Connecting Queensland GPs and Public Hospitals provides benefits to Queensland GPs, Queensland Health clinicians and of course patients. The patient healthcare information shared will be continually enriched through Queensland Health business-as-usual activities. Importantly, the solution has been designed to allow other health practitioners to access the HPP as legislation allows.
Better Connecting Queensland GPs and Public Hospitals
To share patient healthcare information between public hospitals and GPs throughout metropolitan, regional and rural Queensland.
- GPs have timely access to public healthcare information for their patients.
- Reduction of patients referred for duplicate tests.
- Reduction of patient re-admissions.
- Reduction of patients needing to recall and describe details of recent treatments received.
Access to specialist outpatient services has been a longstanding and systemic issue in Queensland with many Queenslanders waiting longer than recommended for an appointment. When developing a strategy to address this problem, a number of issues around the interface between primary health and the public hospital system were identified. This included general practitioners (GPs) not having timely or easy access to a patient’s public healthcare information. In 2015 two Waiting Time Summits were held in Queensland bringing together clinicians, GPs, Primary Health Networks (PHNs), consumer representatives and other stakeholders to collaboratively find solutions these problems. Based on the ideas generated at the summits the Queensland Government invested $361.2 million over four years for the Specialist Outpatient Strategy: improving the patient journey by 2020 which provides for significant improvements to be made across the Queensland public health system. These initiatives are being developed and implemented by the Clinical Excellence Division in partnership with a number of stakeholders including Hospital and Health Services (HHSs).
Queensland Health now provides GPs with access to a secure, read only Health Practitioner Portal (HPP). The portal leverages an existing mature system (The Viewer) to provide Queensland GPs with access to patient healthcare information from a number of clinical information systems used in Queensland Health. The HPP launches The Viewer in single patient context after verifying that the patient has not opted out. The implementation of the portal required changes to Queensland legislation so that patient information could be shared electronically in real-time with Queensland GPs. A number of business change activities were also undertaken across the state to embed new processes regarding the sharing of patient information. This included updating local HHS polices and enlisting key HHS and PHN representatives to develop and execute local training and awareness campaigns to encourage Queensland GPs to register to access the HPP. To ensure only Queensland GPs can access the HPP, the Queensland Government mandated authentication system QGov plus AHPRA and Medicare are leveraged to verify the GP’s personal and professional identity. Queensland is the first jurisdiction in Australia to provide GPs with this type of access to a patient’s public healthcare information.