Adding a New Patient

When a patient first makes contact with your encounter place, and before you provide a service to that patient, add a patient record.

Communicare Administrators can customise how addresses are recorded in the System Parameters and add extra localities in Locality maintenance.

All patient records require at least one name and one home address. All other data is optional. Use the same process to record addresses in urban, rural or remote areas.

To add a new patient:
  1. Click Patient Biographics iconPatient Biographics.
  2. In the Patient Name field, enter the name of the patient.
  3. Check that the patient isn't listed and doesn't already have a patient record.
    Try the following searches:
    • Search with the family name and given name in either order to identify patients where the patient's name was originally entered incorrectly in reverse
    • Search by date of birth to identify patients whose surname has changed
    • For children, search with a given name of Baby Of to identify children who were entered before being given a name
  4. Click New patient buttonNew Patient.
  5. From the Sex list, select the patient's sex. Ensure you set a patient's sex if you want to generate sex-based recalls automatically.
    Note: Some external bodies including Medicare and the Australian Immunisation Register do not yet recognise sexes other than Male or Female.
  6. In the Date of Birth field, enter the patient's birth date. Ensure you provide an exact or approximate date of birth if you want to generate age-based recalls automatically. If you don't know the exact date of birth, enter an estimate and set Estimated.
  7. In the name fields, enter the patient's names:
    1. In the Forenames field, enter the patient's given names.
      • For named newborn babies, record their given names.
      • For an unnamed newborn baby, use the mother's given name in conjunction with the prefix Baby Of. For example, if a baby's mother's given name is Fiona, record Baby Of Fiona. If a name is subsequently given, record the new name as the forename and retain the newborn's family name.
      • For unnamed newborn babies from a multiple birth, use the mother's given name plus a reference to the multiple birth and birth order. For example, if the babies' mother's given name is Fiona and a set of twins are to be registered, record Twin 1 of Fiona for the first born baby, and Twin 2 of Fiona for the second born baby. For other multiple births, use the following naming convention:
        • Twins - use Twin, for example, Twin 1 of Fiona
        • Triplets - use Trip, for example, Trip 1 of Fiona
        • Quadruplets - use Quad, for example, Quad 1 of Fiona
        • Quintuplets - use Quin, for example, Quin 1 of Fiona
        • Sextuplets - use Sext, for example, Sext 1 of Fiona
        • Septuplets - use Sept, for example, Sept 1 of Fiona
    2. In the Family Name field, enter at least one family name.
  8. From the Indigenous Status list, if applicable select the aboriginality of the patient.
  9. In the From field, enter the date from which the address applies.
  10. If the address, phone number and Medicare number are the same as that of the last opened and saved patient, to copy these details to the current patient, click Details for last patient iconUse last patient's details.
  11. In the Line 1 field, enter the first line of the address, usually house number and street name.
    1 The Street.
  12. In the Line 2 field, enter the second line of the address, related to the first line. This line is usually blank.
    Note: Do not record separate addresses on line 1 and line 2 or use the address fields to record other information.
  13. In the Locality field, start typing the locality, then select it from the list of preferred localities. If the required locality isn't displayed, set All Localities to select from all Australia Post localities.
    Tip: The selected locality provides the state and postcode, so you don't have to enter them.
  14. Set one or more types of address, for example Home.
    Ensure that you set Home only for an address where the patient lives. A home address cannot be a P.O. Box. If only a mailing address is known, record the mailing address and also include a separate home address with only a locality specified. If the home address is genuinely unknown, set Home and select a Locality of Other / elsewhere.
  15. Click Add and complete steps 11-14 for any other types of address, for example Contact and Mail.
    Tip: Use the arrow buttons to scroll between the addresses.
  16. In the Phone field, record the patient's home phone number if available.
  17. In the Contact Details section:
    1. In the Work Phone field, record the patient's work phone number.
    2. In the Mobile Phone field, record the patient's mobile phone number.
    3. If the patient doesn't have a phone, set Patient has no phone. If you set this option, any existing numbers are cleared from the phone number fields and the fields are disabled.
    4. In the Email field, record the patient's email address.
    5. From the Preferred Contact list, select how the patient prefers to be contacted or their preference not to be contacted. '
      No Contact is a patient opt-out of direct marketing material. It is not intended to prevent contact being made with a patient where a clinician is following-up on medical treatment. If a patient requests no contact, the extent to which this is respected should be governed by your privacy practices and discussed with the patient and their provider.
  18. Set the identification numbers, Medicare, CentreLink, DVA and PBS Safety Net information where applicable. In the NT, see MeHR eRegistration for more information.
  19. Click Next to step through the other tabs. Provide any applicable information.
    A person is a patient by default. If the person is not a patient, set the patient status, including non-patient on the Administration tab.
  20. Register the patient with My Health Record if required: click My Health Record Registration. See Registering patients with MHR for more information.
  21. Click Save.
  22. If the Is patient already on the system? window is displayed, all existing patients with similar sounding names, similar dates-of-birth and of the same sex are listed. Check the list carefully to ensure that you don't create a duplicate patient record in the database.
    • If the patient is on the list, select the patient and click Yes.
    • If the patient is definitely new to the health service, click No.

The patient record is added to your database.

It is useful to keep a history of addresses associated with a patient, so that when they move it is easier to locate them and their relatives. For new addresses, always click + Add and add a new address, rather than amending an existing address.

If you do need to correct an existing address, edit the address and click 'No' when asked if the patient has moved to a new address.