Child Digital Health Record

A new, improved way to manage your child's health information

Depending on their location in Australia, a child’s health and development information is captured in different paper records - examples include the Red Book in Queensland and the Blue Book in NSW. As a result, a child’s parents must carry this vital information around in books as they go between healthcare appointments and visit multiple providers. Whenever a child’s record is forgotten or misplaced, it makes it difficult for healthcare providers to access the information they need to provide safe, high quality care at the time of presentation.

Purpose

The Child Digital Health Record (CDHR) is the first initiative to be tested under the National Children’s Digital Health Collaborative. It will bring together health information from different state and territory baby books and turn this into a secure, national and more comprehensive digital health record. This digital health record will be readily available to a child’s family and healthcare providers, when and where it is needed.

The CDHR will be user-friendly, and designed to meet the needs of children, their families, and their healthcare providers. For parents, it will take the form of an easy-to-use app, and for healthcare providers the record will be displayed via their existing clinical systems. The record will track key early health interactions such as health checkups, immunisations, growth charts, and development milestones to make sure healthcare providers have as much information as possible to offer safe, high-quality care.

Supporting families and healthcare providers

The CDHR is being designed to capture a child’s health and development information as a single, secure record. This will be easily accessible to a child’s family and healthcare providers – when and where it is needed – to help ensure that the best possible care can be provided.

The first phase of the CDHR has been to harmonise the various paper-based records of baby and child health checks that exist in different parts of Australia (such as the Red Book in Queensland and the Blue Book in NSW) into a national data set. This will be the foundation of the CDHR.

Once complete, the CDHR will:

  • Empower families to have access to, and better control over, their child’s health information

  • Create a more comprehensive and easily accessible digital record that can’t be misplaced or left at home

  • Support better integration and coordination of care for children and young people

  • Minimise the risks associated with double-handling of information

  • Enhance the overall safety and quality of care that a child receives

The CDHR will also support the provision of more efficient, clinical care by:

  • Providing easy access to updated and complete patient information – when and where it is needed

  • Reducing the time spent gathering information from other providers

  • Enabling collaborative decision making

  • Identifying children who are not following appropriate care pathways

Testing the CDHR

The CDHR is being tested through a proof-of-concept trial across two local health districts in New South Wales: Western Sydney (Blacktown) and Western NSW (Dubbo/Coonamble). The trial will test the feasibility of a digitized Baby Book and the required functionality for making this available to healthcare providers and the parent/carer of the child

General practitioners and Primary Health Networks are involved and are being consulted across all phases and levels of the program, including at the trial sites where they are supporting capture of requirements and design.

The trial will be independently evaluated by researchers from Victoria and NSW (Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and University of NSW) to inform the future progress of the CDHR and the potential for a broader, national rollout.


A new, improved way to manage your child's health information

Depending on their location in Australia, a child’s health and development information is captured in different paper records - examples include the Red Book in Queensland and the Blue Book in NSW. As a result, a child’s parents must carry this vital information around in books as they go between healthcare appointments and visit multiple providers. Whenever a child’s record is forgotten or misplaced, it makes it difficult for healthcare providers to access the information they need to provide safe, high quality care at the time of presentation.

Purpose

The Child Digital Health Record (CDHR) is the first initiative to be tested under the National Children’s Digital Health Collaborative. It will bring together health information from different state and territory baby books and turn this into a secure, national and more comprehensive digital health record. This digital health record will be readily available to a child’s family and healthcare providers, when and where it is needed.

The CDHR will be user-friendly, and designed to meet the needs of children, their families, and their healthcare providers. For parents, it will take the form of an easy-to-use app, and for healthcare providers the record will be displayed via their existing clinical systems. The record will track key early health interactions such as health checkups, immunisations, growth charts, and development milestones to make sure healthcare providers have as much information as possible to offer safe, high-quality care.

Supporting families and healthcare providers

The CDHR is being designed to capture a child’s health and development information as a single, secure record. This will be easily accessible to a child’s family and healthcare providers – when and where it is needed – to help ensure that the best possible care can be provided.

The first phase of the CDHR has been to harmonise the various paper-based records of baby and child health checks that exist in different parts of Australia (such as the Red Book in Queensland and the Blue Book in NSW) into a national data set. This will be the foundation of the CDHR.

Once complete, the CDHR will:

  • Empower families to have access to, and better control over, their child’s health information

  • Create a more comprehensive and easily accessible digital record that can’t be misplaced or left at home

  • Support better integration and coordination of care for children and young people

  • Minimise the risks associated with double-handling of information

  • Enhance the overall safety and quality of care that a child receives

The CDHR will also support the provision of more efficient, clinical care by:

  • Providing easy access to updated and complete patient information – when and where it is needed

  • Reducing the time spent gathering information from other providers

  • Enabling collaborative decision making

  • Identifying children who are not following appropriate care pathways

Testing the CDHR

The CDHR is being tested through a proof-of-concept trial across two local health districts in New South Wales: Western Sydney (Blacktown) and Western NSW (Dubbo/Coonamble). The trial will test the feasibility of a digitized Baby Book and the required functionality for making this available to healthcare providers and the parent/carer of the child

General practitioners and Primary Health Networks are involved and are being consulted across all phases and levels of the program, including at the trial sites where they are supporting capture of requirements and design.

The trial will be independently evaluated by researchers from Victoria and NSW (Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and University of NSW) to inform the future progress of the CDHR and the potential for a broader, national rollout.