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Digital Health

The PHN is dedicated to helping general practices across the Hunter New England and Central Coast region to understand and make meaningful use of digital health initiatives.

The use of Digital Health can help improve the healthcare system for providers and help people live healthier lives, with greater control and better access to important health information.

Here you will be able to find resources and information that will assist your practice in the implementation of these initiatives, alongside the development and integration of quality improvement activities to support your digital health needs.

My Health Record

My Health Record lets people control their health information securely, in one place. This means a patient’s important health information is available when and where it’s needed, including in an emergency.

Through the My Health Record system, timely information can be accessed such as shared health summaries, event summaries, discharge summaries, prescription and dispense records, pathology reports and diagnostic imaging reports.

We are working with the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) to support the My Health Record adoption and embed My Health Record use and awareness across health care providers in our region.

Visit our My Health Record page to learn more.


Video and telephone consultations ‘telehealth’ help to protect both patients and providers, preventing the spread of infection, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MBS telehealth items are available to providers of telehealth services for a wide range of consultations. All Medicare eligible Australians can now receive these services.

Visit our Telehealth page to learn more.

Secure Messaging

Secure messaging software offers point-to-point sharing of encrypted clinical data. This enables confidentiality of patient records and improves the quality of information flow. It can also significantly reduce overheads related to printing, faxing, mailing, and scanning of referrals.

Secure messaging options include:

Learn more about secure messaging for healthcare providers here

Electronic Prescriptions

Commonwealth legislation now recognises an electronic prescription as an optional, alternative legal form to paper prescription for prescribers (including doctors, dentists, optometrists, midwives and nurse practitioners, excluding veterinarians) and their patients by which medicines can be supplied under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Paper and electronic prescriptions will meet the relevant Commonwealth and State and Territory legislation.

Patients may choose to have a new prescription in electronic prescription or paper form and must have an individual healthcare identifier (IHI) to participate (individuals enrolled into Medicare or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) will already have an IHI).

Visit our Electronic Prescriptions page to learn more.

PIP eHealth Payment

The PIP eHealth Incentive aims to encourage practices to keep up-to-date with digital health and adopt new digital health technology as it becomes available.

Learn more>

Sandie Hordern is the PHN support lead for Digital Health in General Practice. Sandie can be contacted at or through your Primary Care Improvement Officer.

Data and Dashboard

Data Extraction

Pencat recipes for Shared Health Summaries (SHS) uploaded by the practice

The PHN provides free licencing to the PenCS suite of products (It combines platforms of the Clinical Audit Tool (CAT4), PAT CAT and Topbar) for the extraction of data from general practices to support with:

  • Quality Improvement
  • Accreditation standards
  • Practice Incentive Program (PIP) Quality Improvement (QI)
  • Population Health planning/support (Comprehensive General Dashboard Reports).

It is compatible with most of the General Practice Clinical Information Systems (CIS). All identifiable data extracted from a Clinical Information System using CAT Plus is securely stored within the practice and not moved offsite.

For more information on the PenCS suite of tools please visit and for more information and support with General Practice Data please contact your PCIO.

Community of Practice

Join the Digital Health Community of Practice

This PHN’s Communities of Practice are open to primary care providers within the Hunter, New England & Central Coast Primary Health Network region to share ideas and resources to support quality improvement activities.

Anyone associated with a primary care organisation in the Hunter, New England and Central Coast region is welcome to request membership of the CoP.

Evidence of employment in a primary care organisation or evidence of working closely with primary care clinicians will be required.

Please note that any resources contributed to this site can be viewed by members of that CoP and by sharing them you agree that others can use and adapt them freely.

To join the Community of practice for Digital Health, please email Sandie Horden or contact your Primary Care Improvement Officer.


The PHN education calendar

The PHN recorded education library

Central Coast HealthPathways

Hunter New England HealthPathways

Central Coast PatientInfo

Hunter New England PatientInfo

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association

Australian Digital Health Agency - Refer to the ADHA website for information relating to :

Services Australia

My Health Record - support and resources for:

  • Register and setup access
  • View and upload clinical info
  • Understand privacy, security and consent
  • Access training and resources
  • Support and inform patients
  • Help and support.

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