My Aged Care will soon stop accepting fax referrals

Jean-Christophe Meunier

23/06/2023 4:35:14 PM

SPONSORED: The nationwide referral program’s transition to e-Referral use will be completed by the end of July.

Old fax machine.
From 31 July, My Aged Care will no longer accept fax machine referrals, completing a transition to e-Referrals that began in September 2019.

A significant milestone in the digital transformation of Australia’s healthcare system is fast approaching, with the Department of Health and Aged Care (DoH) confirming that it will soon decommission the My Aged Care fax number.
Instead, from 31 July, My Aged Care will use the more efficient and secure e-Referrals, completing a transition that began in September 2019.
Powered by HealthLink SmartForm technology, the alternative referral pathway has been integrated into Best Practice, Genie, MedicalDirector, Medtech Evolution, Shexie and Zedmed practice management systems (PMS), and is free for HealthLink customers.
Director of the My Aged Care Online Services and Information Section, Kylie Sauer, is encouraging GPs to embrace e-Referrals to save time and provide the best service to their patients.
‘e-Referrals have improved healthcare workers’ experience by offering better integration into their existing workflow, taking away the need to exit their PMS to send a referral,’ she said.
Unlike fax machines, e-Referrals enable pre-population of information in a complete and legible manner, providing confirmation of receipt and expediting the progress of patients through their aged-care journey. e-Referrals also significantly reduce errors and the need for My Aged Care Contact Centre staff to clarify information with patients or GPs.
Feedback from healthcare professionals using My Aged Care e-Referrals has been overwhelmingly positive.
Emma Zanker, a practice nurse coordinator in South Australia, regularly uses e-Referrals to refer patients for a My Aged Care assessment. She recommends other practices adopt My Aged Care e-Referrals due to their ease of use and the substantial time savings compared to previous methods.

Meanwhile, NSW-based GP Dr Eric Davey said he saves approximately 10–15 minutes per referral using e-Referrals.
‘I can ensure the information I feel is important is included, and I’m confident the information is going directly to My Aged Care,’ he said.
‘The e-Referrals are also confidential and easily amended.’

For GPs who don’t have a compatible PMS, other referral pathways exist. Patients can be referred to My Aged Care for an assessment via the phone, the ‘Make a Referral Form’ on the My Aged Care website or the MyHealthLink Portal, a web-based solution for sending My Aged Care referrals free of charge.
HealthLink’s unique business model and extensive network eliminates commercial, privacy, security, or technological barriers associated with the usage and adoption of integrated SmartForm programs, and as a result general practices throughout Australia are increasingly leaving fax machines behind.
Several organisations in Australia have already mandated the use of HealthLink’s SmartForm technology and Secure Messaging service as the only means of communicating patient information within the health system.
HealthLink is also continuing its SmartForms modernisation journey with plans to approach Cloud-based Practice Software vendors later this year. This ongoing effort will ensure that the benefits of e-Referrals are accessible to an even wider range of healthcare providers, further streamlining the referral process and enhancing patient care.
The national shift towards e-Referrals marks a significant advancement in the Australian healthcare system.
By embracing this approach, referrers can enhance efficiency, security, and the overall patient experience. The phased elimination of fax referrals demonstrates the DoH’s commitment to leverage technology for the betterment of healthcare services across the country.
This content was commissioned by HealthLink and reviewed by newsGP.
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Dr R Sharma   27/06/2023 7:25:07 AM

I use healthlink a lot. I use it for my aged care and all public Hospital referrals Unfortunately a number of specialists still don’t use it or their staff don’t know about if even if their practices are E referral enabled, so I often get a demand fora Faxed or Emailed referral from them, despite sending a comprehensive referral with all investigations attached , comprehensive medication lists , past history etc on the Healthlink referral. This leads to a lot of additional time wasted for both myself and my reception staff. I think Healthlink needs to do a better job in educating these specialists’ staff about these forms.