NSW e-health records system gathers pace

Medical records accessible everywhere

Nearly three years after NSW Health started to prototype its new electronic health records system, over 9000 people are now using the application, which is integrated into similar online services.

As reported by Computerworld, NSW Health has been developing an online medical records system called Healthelink for the past four years.

The goal of the project is to provide a central point of reference for the state's health professionals to access patient information and eliminate fragmented records born out of disparate paper and computer methods.

Integration with the national electronic health network is also a priority.

NSW Health director of portfolio management for its strategic information management branch Joanna Kelly said the pilot is progressing well.

"Most source systems are now feeding into Healthelink in the public sector, and two of the three GP systems involved in the pilot are now connected," Kelly said.

There are now approximately 9500 individuals participating in the pilot, and that number is "steadily increasing" each week.

Kelly said the concept has been well received within the community and the opt-out rate is about 4.5 percent.

"We are seeing this number decline over time," she said.

Healthelink has received more than $19 million in funding over five years and started before the national HealthConnect project, making a pioneer among state-level electronic records systems.

The Healthelink project is online at http://www.healthelink.nsw.gov.au/.

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