Our community first to benefit from innovative iRAD project

19 May 2020

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Imagine your elderly grandmother is unwell and urgently needs to see a doctor after hours. She’s on a heap of different medications and sometimes finds it difficult to keep track of what she’s taking, when and how much she should take.

That’s where iRAD helps – enabling GPs and hospitals to share clinical information in real-time to improve patient care.

Our new, innovative iRAD (Integrated Real-time Active Data) Interoperability Project gives your grandmother’s after-hours doctor easy access to her medical history, including all the medications she is currently taking, her medical conditions and allergies, ensuring her treatment plan is better informed.

The iRAD project, driven by dbMotion software, is an Australian first.

South Western Sydney Primary Health Network (SWSPHN) is fast-tracking the expansion of iRAD in response to the COVID-19 pandemic after a successful trial in five of our region’s general practices.

In the next three months, we aim to increase the number of participating healthcare services by more than 50, including general practices, specialists and aged care facilities, and provide access for two hospital emergency departments to view a patient’s primary care records.

SWSPHN Chief Executive Officer, Dr Keith McDonald PhD, said iRAD had the potential to change healthcare in our region.

“We all have a friend or family member with complex medical history,” he said. “Every time they go to a new doctor, the hospital or specialist they have to start back at square one and explain that medical history.

“But not everybody has the ability to have that conversation.”

“Patients may speak different languages or have different levels of health literacy – for those patients iRAD is incredible. It’s also valuable for children who live in multiple households – to keep track of their medication and immunisation history.

“It takes away the need to have to remember everything. iRAD helps support every single patient.”

For GPs, iRAD is easy to use. They simply click on a button for a pop-up window on top of their existing patient record to access additional, meaningful data about their patient from other healthcare providers and data systems.

Notifications also prompt the doctor to look at what treatment or tests their patient has undergone outside their practice – anywhere that care is being shared – in the last 30 days.

There is no ongoing effort to maintain the data that’s being shared – it’s done automatically after the patient has consented. Consent is at practice level giving patients a greater ability to opt-in and opt-out and to control who sees what information.

Dr McDonald said after the patient consented, data just flowed.

“There’s no uploading of documents (for example, shared health summaries) – this is automated,” he said. “Once GPs have the consent of their patient, they don’t have to do anything else.”

Another benefit of iRAD is its presentation.

The data presented is a single, clear view of a patient’s key clinical information, and is specific to ‘domain’ rather than requiring GPs to mine through documents. It includes vital signs and regular documents from the patient’s records like referral forms, scans and reports.

The technology behind iRAD is secure – so secure the Israeli military use it for all of their health records.

“The real success, though, is when the patient turns up to a GP after hours, or to a hospital so traumatised by what’s happened that they can’t think straight. iRAD puts the data (needed for better clinical decisions directly) into the medical professional’s hands,” Dr McDonald said.

For more information:

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