In early 2015 Pathology North will be upgrading its information systems. As a result there will be a new mechanism to distribute electronic reports to general practitioners and specialists.

Pathology North has chosen Healthlink as a secure and robust messaging provider already widely used by North Coast medical practitioners. Once installed Healthlink will receive results from Pathology North's systems for incorporation into the practices' electronic medical records.

As part of the change reports will be distributed in HL7 format rather than the now outdated PIT format. This allows the data to be processed at a low level enabling data manipulation and processing. Tracking biochemical parameters like HbA1c over time can improve patient management. The system also facilitates acknowledgement of the receipt of the report an important issue for pathology laboratories' requirements.

The transition to Healthlink is expected to be seamless for current users. Practices who already have a Healthlink account do not need to make any changes.

The installation of the Healthlink software is simple and is performed by Healthlink technicians through a remote session on the practice's computer systems. Practices using Pathology North that do not have a Healthlink account can expect a call from a Healthlink representative to arrange a convenient time for the software installation.

Brett Simm, the IT Services Manager of Pathology North, can also assist practices with questions about the new arrangements. He can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

After a long period of development GP2GP was finally released in New Zealand in 2012. GP2GP is an electronic patient record transfer system allowing patient files to be transferred from practice to practice when patients transfer to a new General Practitioner. Each transfer can, in theory, be completed in near real time but generally at our practice files are transferred or received within 48 hours of the initial transfer request.

The driving force behind the development of GP2GP was to provide a way of transferring notes that was secure and provided better continuity of care. It also avoids using transfers of paper notes or the use of CDs and memory sticks, which are all equally insecure and rely on the postal system for their movement from practice to practice. It also saves valuable time for administrators and clinicians alike.

North Coast Radiology, the leading provider of Medical imaging services within the Northern Rivers region, recently invested in a new MRI service for their Ballina Rooms. In an effort to make the new state of the art facility as welcoming for patients as possible, they commissioned local photographer Dane Hodkinson of DB Hodkinson Photography to capture some local landmarks to put on the wall.

Senator Fiona Nash, Assistant Minister for Health

Australians deserve a world class health system with access to services provided by highly-skilled doctors, nurses and allied health professions.

This must be underpinned by a strong and sustainable Medicare.

Last month I organised a phone hook-up between three local doctors and two nurse practitioners, and the Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash so that our health professional could directly tell the Government about the health needs of our community.

Over the coming months, the new Health Minister Sussan Ley, who has already visited Page, will be engaging in a wide-ranging consultation on the ground with doctors and the community across the country in order to come up with sensible options to deliver appropriate Medicare reforms.

These consultations will be guided by four principles:

  • Protecting Medicare for the long-tem;
  • Ensuring bulk billing remains for vulnerable and concessional patients
  • Maintaining high-quality care and treatment for all Australians and
  • Ensuring that those who have the means to do so make a modest contribution to the cost of their care.

Like our local health services, I am committed to protecting Medicare and ensuring that it continues to provide access to high-quality health care.

Ministers Ley, Nash and I are always happy to hear the views of the medical profession, so please feel free to email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any suggestions or concerns.

On Saturday 21 February 2015 Imogen's Farm Wines is sponsoring a fund raiser for the local chapter of GROW with all profits from the event assisting the orgnanisation move into their new home, Gunnawannabe, in South Lismore.

The day promises to be a sumptuous affair with an Italian feast by Roberto Contstana and dolce by Faith Newham with plenty of support from other local food and wine producers.

It may also be a riotous affair with Mandy Nolan as compere backed up by our very own Dr Harry Freeman on piano.

The afternoon is hosted by NRGPN Board member, Dr Nathan Kesteven, on his property at Whian Whian.

Tickets are available for $102.50 until 15 February but are limited to one hundred in total so don't delay.