The referral workflow at Cabrini Health has been transformed by Telstra Health Secure Messaging, formerly known as Argus.  

Based in Nowra NSW, South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation (SCMSAC) is a non-government, not-for-profit, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) organisation that provides health and wellbeing services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

The complex nature of Aboriginal healthcare, and the number of programs and services offered by SCMSAC, meant that the organisation needed a better way to manage its client data. A full review in early 2018 led to the implementation of Telstra Health’s Communicare - Australia’s leading, fully integrated patient information solution for community health services since 1994. 

“We chose Communicare due to the number of organisations in Aboriginal health that are currently using it and its ability to be used in both clinical and non-clinical settings,” says Nathan Deaves, Executive Officer, Health & Wellbeing at SCMSAC.

Solution

Secure Messaging, formerly known as Argus

More than 40,000 providers use Argus to securely communicate confidential patient information quickly and reliably. 

Learn more

Impact

  • Replaced ineffective paper referral system with an entirely paperless process
  • Enhanced communication across the service
  • Improved the healthcare service’s workflow

“All of these improvements add value and benefit for the patient and ensures they have the best possible experience when they visit Cabrini or any other health service along the line” 

Cameron Barnes is the Director of Health Information Services and Information Governance at Cabrini Health

From paper to paperless

“The old system was the usual cumbersome process, reliant on fax machines, hard copy and phone calls,”  Mr Barnes says. “This presented challenges in terms of eligibility and inefficiencies in the hard copy environment, not to mention privacy risks.”

Replacing this traditional, ineffective paper referral system with an entirely paperless process has greatly improved the healthcare service’s workflow, by creating a central repository where documents are contained and stored. Importantly, it adheres to Australian privacy laws.

“We can have multiple people using the information in a really timely manner, which has cut down inefficiencies that were inherent in our systems. It’s an advantage for my staff, clinical staff, GPs and the provisioning medical officers, of which we have more than a thousand,”  Mr Barnes says.

Besides greater efficiency and improved patient care, the program has also seen a reduction in costs for health practitioners using the system.

“You’re able to move toward a paperless environment, which brings cost savings as well as other advantages. It’s such a good innovation,”  Mr Barnes says. “It’s well worth taking up the option of Secure Messaging.”

Benefits for patients and health practitioners

According to Mr Barnes, implementing the Secure Messaging system has enhanced communication across the service, knowledge sharing, accuracy of patient identification and appropriate service allocation, while minimising privacy risks.

 “All of these improvements add value and benefit for the patient and ensures they have the best possible experience when they visit Cabrini or any other health service along the line,”  he says. “Most patients want to know their information is available to the health professionals who need it, in a timely manner.”

“GPs associated with Cabrini can sometimes feel a little left out of the loop because our major customers are Visiting Medical Officers (VMOs). This system gives them another way of contacting Cabrini so that we can bring them a little bit more into the fold,”  Mr Barnes says.

Technology you can trust

 “As far as the risks associated with electronic storage of information, we've been working collaboratively with Argus and Telstra Health for about five years now. Having the right vendor that you are happy and comfortable working with mitigates the risks. You obviously must have the right technology driving it, so you’re also comfortable the software and systems do what they’re supposed to do,”  Mr Barnes says.

“It’s an excellent system with a lot of capacity for referral sources and our health care providers. Most importantly, it improves the experience for our  patients, who are our primary concern.”

Let's talk

Find out more about implementing Telstra Health's Secure Messaging Solution in your organisation. 

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