One of the main barriers in achieving interoperability and nationwide secure messaging, is the resistance to change.
Change is hard, especially with technology, and doing what you know may seem easy right now, but what if it’s not.
Old methods may be:
- Not best practice
- Not in your patients’ best interest
This is the case in the healthcare industry, and the resistance to shift away from fax machines and other dated processes has been challenging. Some may feel fax machines are a reliable form of communication, however their lack of security compromises patient privacy and can increase risk within your organisation. As a healthcare professional, there is a responsibility to ensure patients receive the treatment they need, and that their journey through the healthcare system is safe while providing the best outcome for them.
Secure messaging put simply is a way to securely exchange referrals and other documents between healthcare providers, organisations and consumers in a confidential and efficient way, reducing time and admin costs, and platforms, such as ReferralNet can easily be integrated with existing software systems.
So why are some still not convinced?
To date there has been a number of issues which have slowed down the transition to secure messaging, with interoperability causing the most annoyance.
Significant work has taken place to resolve the problem of configuration within the applications to be able to cross-communicate. The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) worked within the industry to implement Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standards to address interoperability across platforms and devices, and setting these standards has made the move to a secure messaging solution more achievable.
FHIR is a standardised language used by health IT vendors, and developed by Health Level Seven International (commonly known as HL7), to remove the barriers that are created when communicating between platforms, opening the opportunity for the smooth exchange of health information. It standardised the exchange of healthcare information, enabling healthcare providers and administrators to easily share patient information even when they’re using different software systems.
It also allows developers to build more user-friendly applications with a web-browser functionality such as MasterCare+ for Secure Messaging, to ensure fast, reliable access to accurate data regardless of the EHR or other application being used.
Some of the benefits are as follows:
- Easy implementation
- Improves the speed of healthcare delivery by making data readily accessible
- Structures data for automated clinical support and other machine-based processing
- Eliminates the time-consuming document-based exchange of information, feeding information directly into workflows
The Australian population is not only growing but is also ageing, placing increased strain on the healthcare system. Digital advances such as secure messaging not only improves safety in the exchange of health information, but protects the privacy and security in the transfer of patient information.
When interoperability becomes part of your organisation, patient healthcare will ultimately improve. Doctors and medical staff will have quick access to reliable information at any given time. No longer will they need to spend time collecting data which should already be available, therefore the focus will be entirely on patient care.
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ReferralNet’s Secure Messaging is one of the four vendors that meets Australian Government Secure Messaging Delivery standards and complies with Australian Privacy Principles. We are also a leader in the medical interoperability and secure messaging sector, and have already improved the productivity of many healthcare organisations with our innovations.
Put yourself at the centre of the digital health network. If you want to avail the benefits of healthcare interoperability, you can contact our team. We will undertake an interoperability readiness check of your organisation and discuss as to how we can help you.