(Last updated: 19/08/2021)
This Acceptable Use Policy informs the ways in which the HealthEngine Recalls service ('HE Recalls Service' or 'Service') must be used by practice customers. Any breach of these guidelines may result in the termination of HE Recalls Service provided to your practice.
This Service enables you to process both patient recalls and clinical reminders via SMS, phone call or letter. The SMS communication is practice branded and sent to all patients as selected by you regardless of whether they have booked online with HealthEngine or not.
Recalls and Reminders in General Practice
General practices use recalls and reminders either to follow up and review a recent event or cycle of care which may include diagnostic tests and reports, or to support preventative healthcare delivery. While there is no legal obligation for general practices to have a reminder system, GPs do have a legal duty to recall patients to inform them about clinically significant test results.
The RACGP* eHealth Guiding principles for clinical follow up systems in general practice software ('Guidelines') provides guidance on clinical information systems, and in particular 'rigorous' follow up systems of general practices^, to ensure appropriate follow up of tests and results. Follow up systems are also important to deliver preventative healthcare.
The Guidelines distinguish between 'Recalls' and 'Reminders'. Further information on these different functions and obligations are detailed below. HE Recalls Service offers both 'Recalls' and 'Reminders' functionality as detailed in the Guidelines.
Refers to instances where you need to get the patient back to the clinic. This occurs after a decision is made by a GP that the patient needs to be called back and reviewed within a specified time frame following, for example:
- Abnormal test results;
- Follow up tests are required; or
- X-rays or Specialist reports require further investigation.
GPs have a legal requirement and are obligated to ensure that results from all tests / investigations they have ordered are recorded and appropriately followed up with their patients. HE Recalls Service supports practice customers and GPs in follow up for recalls with their patients.
Patients cannot opt-out of receiving recalls. However, where possible practices should endeavour to respect the manner in which a patient wishes to receive a recall. For example, by letter rather than SMS.
Reminders are used for health promotion and preventative healthcare activities.
Reminders involves situations in which a patient is "reminded" or prompted to attend the practice for a recommended investigation or procedure. For example, reminders may be sent to patients:
- due for immunisations; or
- due for a routine screen, such as a pap smear or mammogram.
There is no legal requirement for GPs to send reminders to patients about routine tests or procedures, although a reminder follow up may represent better practice.
Reminders sent using HE Recalls Service should only be sent on an individual basis to patients. If a practice proposes to send bulk reminders to its patients, then HealthEngine's Communicate service should be used for this purpose.
Patients cannot opt-out of receiving reminders. However, where possible practices should endeavour to respect the manner in which a patient wishes to receive a reminder. For example, by letter rather than SMS.
Using HE Recalls Service
The following lists are provided by way of example and should not be considered exhaustive. References to:
- HE Recalls Service refers to service / functionality of sending both 'Recalls' and/or 'Reminders'.
- 'Recall(s)' and 'Reminder(s)' below is based on their definitions in the Guidelines.
- Only use HE Recalls Service to send genuine Recall and Reminder messages.
- Only use HE Recalls Service to request a patient book an appointment for results or for clinically-relevant purposes specific to that patient's health.
- Use HE Recalls Service in a way which is compliant with Australian law including but not limited to the Spam Act 2003 (Cth), the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), the Australian Consumer Law and the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.
You must NOT:
- Send messages via HE Recalls Service to anyone who:
- is not currently a patient of your practice;
- has not attended the practice within the last three years;
- has never been a patient of your practice;
- has opted out of receiving electronic messages from your practice.
* The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
^ RACGP Standards for general practices (5th Edition) require general practices to have a 'rigorous' follow up system.