Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon today launched a major new initiative in regional health care at The University of Western Australia.
The Great Southern GP Network and UWA Centre for Software Practice joined forces to establish The Great Southern Managed Health Network (GSMHN) after receiving $1.8 million in funding from the Federal Department of Health and Ageing. The partnership was set up on a not-for-profit basis that will include and promote research collaborations.
University Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson said the GSMHN had already played a vital role in bringing together health professionals throughout the Great Southern and other rural regions of WA.
"GPs, specialists, hospitals, aged-care providers and allied health providers are now connected through shared electronic health records, secure communication and remote administration of health and medicine," Professor Robson said. "The project has been a great success and is now being rolled out in other areas of the State, including the Kimberley, Pilbara, MidWest and Wheatbelt."
"The University of WA is committed to developing long-term strategic partnerships with the community which we serve. The work of all those involved in this network translates to better health care for the community at large."
Dr David Tadj, chairperson of the Great Southern GP Network said the GSMHN would be a useful tool not only for GPs but for health providers across the board.
"For the first time, we will be able access streamlined computerised records, enabling us to more easily collaborate with colleagues and minimise delays in patient care," Dr Tadj said. "The crucial thing here is that the network is secure, so patients can feel sure that their right to confidentiality will be protected."
Dr David Glance, Director of the Centre for Software Practice, said that the UWA developed Medical Message Exchange (MMEx), deployed through the GSMHN would provide a significant base for connecting all health professionals in WA. "Sharing patient information securely has become as simple as using web-based email," Dr Glance said. "MMEx currently gives more than 2,500 GPs and health professionals in WA access to secure electronic messaging."
Other services include an online directory of health professionals and healthcare organisations in WA, allowing users to search by locality, clinical specialty or clinician name.
Dr David Glance (UWA Centre for Software Practice) (+61 4) 08 916 579
Dr David Tadj (Great Southern GP Network) (+61 8) 9842 9322
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716