How Westmead Hospital’s Dermatology Department in Westmead Health Precinct is refreshing technology-driven care

The Dermatology Department at Westmead Hospital in Western Sydney Local Health District has taken a leap into futuristic health management, with tool ‘Medsync’ transforming the way clinicians are storing and capturing patient data.

The forward-thinking team in Westmead Health Precinct adopted this new approach to communication and data storage by utilising Medsync, a feature within Microsoft Teams.

Using the tool, clinicians (including medical officers, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers) can securely capture photographs from any mobile device and upload them into a patient’s health record.

Significantly, the photographs are not stored on the mobile device to maintain patient privacy, and the images can be accessed by any clinician that has access to Powerchart/HealtheNet.

Professor Pablo Fernandez-Penas, Head of Department of Dermatology at Westmead Hospital; Kelvin Truong, Senior Resident Medical Officer

“I think patients will benefit from our approach for two main reasons,” Kelvin Truong, Senior Resident Medical Officer in the Clinical Trials, Oncodermatology and High Risk Melanoma Clinic at Westmead Hospital’s Dermatology Department in Westmead Health Precinct said.

“Firstly, there is now a secure platform where their photographs can be taken and uploaded into their health record, without any data being stored on the device from which it was captured. This maintains patient privacy.

“Secondly, clinicians can capture images more readily and share them with other clinicians for the purpose of medical care.”

Kelvin says the implementation of this new approach has also improved workflows as it automates some of the processes and removes the more clunky practices previously relied upon.

“Clinical photographs are important in healthcare, especially in a visual field such as Dermatology,” he said.

“In the past, photographs were taken using a handheld camera, manually transferred onto a computer, and then uploaded onto the patient’s health record. This was often cumbersome and time-consuming.

“We now have a secure platform to streamline this process; it is as easy as opening the feature within Microsoft Teams, identifying the correct patient, and then taking photographs. These will then be directly uploaded to the patient’s profile.

“Furthermore, clinicians can now access patient photographs via Powerchart/HealtheNet, which may help facilitate patient care.”