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Katherine Ilardi Circle Author Overlay

Posted by Katherine Ilardi, July 10th, 2019

Hi everyone! I’m Katherine and this is my first blog post with coreplus (actually, my first blog post ever) so I hope you enjoy the read and that you keep up to date with my future blogs!

I’m going to delve into the world of Secure Messaging and why it’s such an important tool for transmitting patient information between yourself and your fellow providers. I’m actually really passionate about this topic because during my time as a social worker (pre coreplus days) I saw and felt the impact of more traditional methods of sending patient information firsthand. But I’ll get back to my own experiences in just a sec.

The OAIC Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme 12-month Insights Report advised that 55% of data breaches in the health sector were due to human error. Essentially, that means that over half of the data breaches in the entire health sector could have and should have been avoided, and steps need to be taken to minimise risk. This is where Secure Messaging comes in.

So, what is Secure Messaging?

It’s the electronic and secure sharing of a person’s health information between points of care. It allows for reliable, secure, seamless, provider to provider information sharing.

Secure Messaging is:

  • Safe: Secure Messages are encrypted, preventing unauthorised interception
  • Direct: Receive Secure Messages directly into your coreplus account and respond to them accordingly
  • Paperless: No faxing, posting, printing, scanning, filing, or chasing up paperwork
  • Fast: No waiting for the post
  • Confidential: Viewed by the intended party only, no risk of sensitive information lying around a fax machine

I think something that’s important to note here is the security and directness of a Secure Message. A provider is able to send a Secure Message straight to you, received right into your coreplus account. Think about what that actually means for both you and your patients.

For yourself, it means that you’re receiving patient information (including eReferrals) promptly and securely. It means no fumbling around with your fax machine, or having to update providers with your practice’s new fax number. It also eliminates the risk of misplacing or losing patient documents.

For your patients, it means that their sensitive information is being transmitted confidentially and promptly via a platform with a nationally recognised standard of security, so that their treating practitioners have correct and up to date medical information, ultimately leading to better patient care and better patient experiences.

So, back to why I’m so passionate about this.

As a social worker, I’d receive referrals for services for my clients every day and so did the other 150 social workers on my floor. Did I mention that we all shared the same two fax machines? The problem with this is that we had providers and community care workers sending us vital information and referrals all day long, but it wasn’t always clear who the referral was intended for or who it was sent by. In addition to this, there was nobody “manning” the fax machine, so it sometimes meant that this important client documentation was not received by the intended practitioner, leaving the client without the services they needed.

Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence in the Australian healthcare system. A scenario quite similar to this tragically contributed to the death of a Victorian man in 2015.

Security surrounding patient information is incredibly important and the number of GPs and hospitals using Secure Messaging is ever-growing. Despite this, there’s still slow uptake of Secure Messaging in the allied health space.

Don’t let outdated technology and workflows compromise your patients’ right to privacy or efficient healthcare.

So the real question is: What are you waiting for?

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