News

Minimum software requirements to improve safety and quality


Doug Hendrie


21/01/2019 4:34:50 PM

The RACGP has released new recommendations for clinical software minimum requirements to help support safe and efficient patient care.

RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon said GPs and medical software developers are increasingly recognising that a set of minimum requirements could be beneficial.
RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon said GPs and medical software developers are increasingly recognising that a set of minimum requirements could be beneficial.

The recommendations cover how data is captured and presented, how systems enable communication and data exchange, and how they support follow-up systems and information security.
 
The recommendations come after the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) approached the RACGP and provided funding to support workshops in order to assist in the development of standards for clinical information systems (CIS).
 
To produce the recommendations, the RACGP last year hosted three workshops with representatives from the ADHA, the Medical Software Industry Association and software developers.
 
The RACGP and attendees mutually agreed that GPs and developers had the same vision of ‘high-functioning and usable CIS.’
 
RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon said GPs and medical software developers are increasingly recognising that a set of minimum requirements – which could later become standards – could be beneficial. 
 
‘It is likely that the way that general practice operates will change significantly in the next few years, this will require much shorter cycles of software development to match the requirements of a modern high-quality general practice,’ Dr Nespolon said.
 
‘This will put pressure on the industry to continue to innovate and stay current. The standards and their ongoing development will help to keep Australian general practice operating efficiently for the benefits of our patients.’
 
Dr Nespolon said he hoped that the RACGP, software developers and the ADHA would continue to build on the work to make the recommendations in the report a reality, creating a standards framework to guide the development of CIS.
 
‘When the ADHA approached the RACGP to lead this work, we saw it as an opportunity to ensure Australian general practice remains at the forefront of safe, high-quality primary healthcare delivery,’ he told newsGP.
 
‘As the independent member-based organisation for general practice, the RACGP is the national leader in setting and maintaining standards for practice and education. The RACGP has a strong history of advising governments and other stakeholders on what is reasonable, workable and useful for general practice.’
 
The complexity and functionality of CIS software has grown over the last 20 years, with many products now available in the Australian market.
 
But complexity can have a cost, with challenges emerging around speediness or redundant features.
 
‘In some areas, software may be out of step with current healthcare delivery models and clinical workflow,’ Dr Nespolon said.
 
Dr Nespolon believes it is vital that the RACGP collaborate with users and developers to develop standards for the profession.
 
The RACGP first published IT policies in the 1970s, and issued Standards for Computerised Medical Record Systems in the 1980s.
 
The RACGP continues to provide information and advice on eHealth developments, information and record management, and issues affecting the future operation of Australian general practice.



clinical information systems clinical software ehealth





Comments



 Security code