Providing high quality health care has become increasingly dependant on information technology and information management systems.

Nganampa Health Council uses the Communicare Clinical Information System. The Communicare patient healthcare system is specifically designed for primary health care providers for defined communities such as Aboriginal Medical Services. It is the main system used by Aboriginal Medical Services in South Australia, central Australia and the Northern Territory.

The introduction of this system has had some important impacts. These include:
  • The patient’s medical record is available to all clinics and to offsite Medical Officers at the time of the consult.
  • Pathology results and other correspondence are now all accessed electronically.
  • We are able to monitor the health care we provide and our performance.
  • We can access information from the My Health Record and the NT based My E-health Record.
Video conferencing is increasingly being used to provide specialist consultations to our patients. Most of the consultations are made to specialists or medical services in Alice Springs and Adelaide. In some cases these consultations mean our patients do not need to travel to receive health care.

we have digitial medical equipment that allows us to transmit images to external specialists. This includes a digital x-ray unit, a digital retinal imaging camera and a digital ECG machine.

The environment that we operate in is perhaps the most challenging Information Technology environment in Australia. We need access to our database 24 hours a day, seven days a week, our patient information is highly confidential, we have limited telecommunication and technical support options and as an organisation we operate from 13 different locations.

These limitations and requirements mean we have four overriding principles that guide the development of our IT systems:
  • Where possible mission critical systems should be outsourced.
  • Redundancy should be built into all systems.
  • As on the ground technical support is limited, we need the ability to manage our systems remotely.
  • Simplicity in systems is often better.

Our IT/IM developments are funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.

An article from The Australian discussing out IT/IM developments can be accessed from