Patients, families and the community, SA Health's electronic medical record
SA Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of all South Australians by providing leadership in health reform, public health services (PDF 589KB), health and medical research, policy development and planning, with an increased focus on wellbeing, illness prevention, early intervention and quality care.
One of the ways SA Health is demonstrating its commitment to the South Australian public is by expanding its electronic medical record system (EMR) to more hospitals and healthcare sites across the state.
The SA Health EMR called Sunrise EMR & PAS. It is a state-based system that was first introduced in 2013. It is currently in use at major public hospitals, GP Plus Health Care Centres and Super Clinics in metropolitan Adelaide and in some regional areas – view all locations.
There are many benefits to having one electronic medical record that can be accessed by clinicians as you move between health services. These include:
- Not having to repeat your medical history and personal details when visiting different health services.
- Receiving more efficient care from nurses, doctors and allied health professionals who can immediately access your medical record at the time and place of treatment.
- Improved consistency in administrative processes with the same system in use at more healthcare sites.
- Receiving safer care as a result of healthcare professionals having access to your medical records and history as you move between health services.
More information is available in the Sunrise benefits for patients and clinicians fact sheet.
How do I get an electronic medical record (EMR)?
If you receive treatment at a South Australian public hospital or healthcare service that uses the system, an electronic medical record will be created for you and any existing paper medical record will be closed and stored in a secure area. Health professionals will be able to request closed paper records at any time as they do now when they need to recall archived medical records.
From then on, as required, your patient EMR can be accessed by clinical staff at any SA Health public health site where the system is active.
What happens to my medical paper record?
Existing paper medical records will continue to be stored in a secured area, and health professionals can still refer to these files if needed. You can contact the Freedom of Information Officer at your local hospital or health service if you wish to review your paper medical record.
Can I opt out?
Once a SA Health public hospital or healthcare site commences using the EMR, it becomes the only patient administration and clinical documentation system in use. The system becomes central to a clinician’s ability to provide you with safe and high-quality care. For these reasons, it is not possible to opt out.
Is my information secure?
Yes. Patient confidentiality is built-in to ensure your information remains private.
The EMR has multiple levels of security to ensure only those clinicians with the appropriate training and credentials to document your care can view your record. This means access to your medical record will be restricted to only the clinical staff who have the appropriate credentials and training.
Another advantage of the Sunrise system is its inbuilt capability to run reports which show who has read or modified your record and when and where this occurred. This provides a transparent audit trail to the documentation of your medical history.
All the electronic systems used at public healthcare sites are regularly monitored by SA Health.
Who will have access to Sunrise EMR & PAS?
Clinicians, including doctors, nurses, midwives and other health care professionals across SA Health will have access to the Sunrise EMR & PAS once they have successfully completed training to document the provision of patient care. This includes GPs employed by, or contracted to, SA Health.
Sunrise EMR and the patient entertainment system
The bedside computers mounted near patient’s beds have a dual purpose – they allow for both patient entertainment services and for clinical documentation into your electronic medical record at the bedside.
Interruptions to your entertainment service will occur when a clinician requires access to your medical record to provide care, however, it is anticipated that the majority of clinical interruptions will be brief.
If you have purchased a movie, it will pause automatically and then continue once the clinician logs out of the system. Extensions to entertainment services are not provided.
Sunrise EMR and the My Health Record system
The My Health Record system is a nationally controlled secure online summary of a patient’s health information. Patients can control what goes into it their health record, and who is allowed to access it. They can choose to share their health information with their doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers.
The Sunrise EMR is a state-based system that is only used by clinicians in South Australian public hospitals and health services where it has been implemented. The data entered into Sunrise EMR is driven by clinicians and not the patient.
If you have a My Health Record, the Sunrise EMR may benefit you and your GP. You can find out more by visiting the ‘Information for GPs’ webpage.
For more information
If you require more information on the Sunrise system please contact the EMR Project team via email HealthEMR@sa.gov.au.