Electronic health records shared among disciplines, have the potential for achieving a range of practice, system and patient efficiencies.59 Use of electronic health records enables sharing of data across the continuum of care, potentially across healthcare delivery organisations, across time and across geographical areas.60 The electronic health record usually contains a range of patient information, such as existing health conditions, physician visits, hospitalisations, test results and prescribed drugs.60
All GP Super Clinics were using some type of electronic health record, supported by appropriate levels of compliance with privacy requirements. The electronic health records were strongly supported by the majority of clinicians as facilitating models of multi-disciplinary care. More importantly, their use was supported by patients who commonly recognised the value in having their records accessible by a range of clinicians within the GP Super Clinics.
Evidence of the use of data from the electronic health records to contribute to health service planning, review and quality improvement was limited. There is potential for GP Super Clinics aggregate data to be used for these purposes and with maturation this may develop as an important opportunity.
The potential for sharing electronic health records with external providers has not yet been realised. However, plans for this eventuality are underway in two of the GP Super Clinics. The lessons in sharing of the electronic health record with externals have potential to be shared across all GP Super Clinics to support improved integration of care.
59Pan-Canadian Primary Health Care Indicators: Pan-Canadian Primary Health Care Indicator Development Project: Report 1 - Volume 1. Ottawa: Canadian Institute for Health Information;2006.
60McGinn C, Grenier S, Duplantie J, et al. Comparison of user groups' perspectives of barriers and facilitators to implementing electronic health records: a systematic review. BMC Medicine. 2011;9(1):46.