Medical records go digital

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Work is progressing on the new Eastfield Health site, which could be open by April-May next year.

By Linda Clarke

Sealy Street Medical Centre is digitising the records of thousands of patients prior to its big move next year.

The records have been scanned and retained in digital form by the centre so doctors and staff can refer to them as needed, and the original documents are being returned to patients.

Medical centre business manager Tony Dann said the records were only being returned to patients authorised to collect them. People should keep them at home in a safe, preferably locked, place.

A university student employed a year ago to work during the holidays has been flat out scanning the documents. The project should be complete by the time the practice moves to its new building on Tancred Street in April-May next year.

Dann said the digital records could be more easily shared between health providers and patients could also log on via ConnectMed and review notes, advice and recommended treatment following a visit.

GP numbers will grow from three to four when the practice moves and becomes Eastfield Health. Dr Maria Barroso will join the team then, moving from Spain to New Zealand with her Kiwi husband.

Dann said the new medical centre would occupy rooms on the first floor of the new building and access would be by stairs or an lift large enough for a mobility scooter.

There will be plenty of carparking behind the building, with access off Cass Street. The new building is beside the existing St John shop.

Dann said a lot of thought had been put into the layout of the new rooms, which were light, spacious and friendly, with wide doors and easy access.

There will be eight consulting rooms, compared to three at Sealy Street, and three observation rooms and a procedure room (compared to two current treatment rooms). Rooms will be sound-proofed for privacy and air conditioned.

The medical centre has a staff of 18, including part-timers.

Patients who want to, will also be able to self-check their blood pressure, weight and height in a semi-private area.

Sealy Street has been at its current site for 25 years.