Building capacity in digital health remains a priority

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) is continuing to build capacity for digital health in general practice, as well as uplift health literacy among consumers, alongside the Australian Digital Health Agency.

As one of the three key delivery partners of the national initiative, Digital health Communities of Excellence, WAPHA is working to embed digital health capabilities across the Pilbara region.

A key component of this work has been connecting all healthcare providers in Port Hedland to the national My Health Record system.

Since its initial rollout, WAPHA staff have continued to provide updates to health professionals, particularly those within pharmacy, general practice and Aboriginal medical services, as well as provide training to new staff within the sector.

Training has also been provided on the use of the HealthLink system to send referrals.

WAPHA Digital Health Team Leader Simon Benge said empowering consumers to take advantage of the benefits of digital health remained a key focus, with digital health literacy sessions continuing to run.

“The expansion of digital health technologies has the capacity to help  improve patient self-management and outcomes, and promote wellbeing,” he said.

“This work aims to empower the consumer to take control of their own health, which we know can improve health outcomes.”

On this front, the first e-prescriptions have been sent from Port Hedland Medical Centre and dispensed by Pharmacy 777, an exciting prospect to provide wider accessibility to care for patients.

Meanwhile, improvements in connectivity to the National Broadband Network in Warralong, about 120km south east of Port Hedland, have allowed for telehealth services to be provided to this community, while Wirraka Maya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation started its first virtual clinic in the community.

Communities of Excellence is part of the digitally enhanced models of care priority in Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy, which was agreed by all states and territories in 2017.