For co-founder of CareDocs George Freney, he and his family experienced this exact situation, highlighting the role a service such as CareDocs can play in people’s lives and in aged care.
At around 11am one morning a few days after Christmas, Mr Freney and his wife went to visit her father at the nursing home he had been in for the last few months. When they arrived, it was clear that he was very unwell, raising concern between Mr Freney and his wife.
“My wife was very upset and wanted to access all the information about her father’s treatment and tests so she could assess the situation and her whole family was looking to her to provide insight into the situation,” he explains.
“I was trying to help her as best I could and was speaking to the nursing home staff and GP’s office to try and get access to documents about tests, treatments and reports.
“Here we were trying desperately to find the information my wife needed, and it was just not accessible.
“The information she needed was spread across hardcopy documents and computer systems at the nursing home, two GPs offices and specialist doctors...I tried to see if the information was accessible through the governments My Health Record but came to an absolute dead end after 20 minutes of effort.”
Mr Freney says their struggle to get in touch with the GP looking after his wife’s father, teamed with the inability to get factual information quickly, was causing “real frustration” and making what was already an emotional and difficult situation, even worse.
“I could not believe that in 2018 we could be in a situation where such important information is not available and well organised digitally,” Mr Freney says.
“It should be in a form that a family member of doctor the family members provides permission to access this information as needed.”
He adds that thankfully his wife was able to get in touch with the GP after about an hour, allowing the family to get a proper understanding of the father’s treatment and situation.
“Whilst this situation was playing out, I was thinking how this is the exact situation that the CareDocs product we are creating is trying to address,” Mr Freney says.
“It perfectly highlighted the need for a smart way to capture medical related documents and share them securely that was not dependent on the My Health Record...something that puts control in the hands of the people providing care for an elderly person.”
CareDocs is preparing for launch in early 2018 and looking for up to 500 people to help refine the product to meet the specific needs of elderly participants and the people that provide care to them.
Interested people can sign up online.