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Making Health Better
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Cairns Central Medical Centre has been part of the Cairns community for nearly 20 years.

Their mission is to provide a comprehensive family health care service and they believe that quality healthcare should be available to all, especially for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the ageing population, and people with chronic and complex diseases.

When Ms Yolly Cuda, their Practice Manager, first heard about My Health Record (then called a personally controlled electronic health record – PCEHR), she knew it was the future for their industry and it could support their patients to receive quality healthcare, no matter where they were in Australia.

So she set up all the necessary documentation to make sure her clinic was digital ready, and she worked with their GPs to start uploading information to their patients’ records.

Yolly could see the benefits not only for their patients, but also for their practitioners. “Everyone is so time poor these days, so to have an opportunity to have medical information at your fingertips, and to not spend your valuable time chasing it up, was well worth the small time we invested in getting digital health ready” she said.

In their clinical meetings, Yolly encourages the GPs to keep uploading to the system, as “it is as simple as emailing,” she said.

“As North Queensland is one of the opt-out trial sites for My Health Record, we can see information starting to flow through the records. We need to make sure we are playing our part, as in the long run the more patients that have information uploaded to their record, the easier it will be for everyone involved in patient’s care.

“If you don’t embrace the future that’s coming, how are we going to get there?” Yolly said.

Situated right in the middle of Cairns’ busiest shopping centre, this means Cairns Central Medical Centre has a very diverse patient base with a strong local following plus many travellers, especially the grey nomads during winter. Yolly says that with people quite often in holiday mode, remembering their medications is not always easy, so you can often find yourself trying to find out more about which ‘blue pill’ or ‘white tablet’ the patients are on.

“To me one of the biggest benefits of My Health Record is being able to see a patient’s medical history and what medications they are on. It saves us valuable time which is important, especially in emergencies,” she said.

“Future generations will also find it beneficial, as they can keep track of their history, especially any immunisations or vaccinations. If they choose to participate in this digital world, they can access this information for themselves, putting them in the centre of their own healthcare”.