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Tas health system to get digital makeover, including community and in-home boost

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Tasmania’s health system will receive a digital makeover under a $150 million state Liberal government spend over four years.

The funds, to be included in Thursday’s state budget, form part of a $475 million package to be delivered over the next decade.

Premier Jeremy Rockliff, who is also health minister, says the new integrated digital care platform will enable hospitals and other health professionals to seamlessly communicate with each other.

Under the four-year plan, the Tasmanian Government will trial a new centralised and electronic medical record system and a patient record viewer that connects public and private care providers.

Virtual technology, including telehealth, will be upgraded so more patients can receive care in their home or community.

“It will also prevent unnecessary hospital visits, helping to keep people out of hospital when they don’t need to be there,” Rockliff said in a statement.

“Upgrading our digital technologies will benefit our health professionals by providing them with the right data, in the right place, at the right time to enable them to make the best decisions on patient care.

“The changes will free up clinicians to spend more time on clinical activities and caring for patients, and less time on administrative tasks and chasing up paperwork.”

Mr Rockliff said the funding represented a “major step” towards Tasmania becoming the first Australian state to have a fully integrated healthcare system.

Tasmania’s health system, which cares for a population older than the national average, has been plagued by hospital bed block and ambulance ramping in recent years.

The Launceston General Hospital on Tuesday experienced a “significant level of acute care demand” in its emergency department and people with non-life threatening conditions were encouraged to seek treatment elsewhere.

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