Version 14.3

Release notes for V14.3.

SMS Messaging

As part of the practice management suite of features, Communicare offers short messaging service (SMS). Patients can have SMS sent to them individually, directly from the clinical record, or SMS can be sent to entire distribution lists. Communicare centrally distributes three reports for use immediately once your site has been activated. The first is the appointments report, assist practice staff with optimal management of appointment bookings. With the rights enabled you will be able to write reports and SMS templates to send any preformatted message you choose to your patient list.

Contact Communicare Support to discuss pricing options, and activate SMS for your health service. For more information, see SMS Messaging.


It is possible to send internal messages between users via the IntraMail facility. IntraMail messages can be sent to any registered user or to a user defined group of users. Messages can be created and viewed from the Documents & Results window. Received messages will be displayed in the 'Received Messages' tab and Sent messages in the 'Sent Messages' tab. Messages can also be created from the patient's Clinical Record. An Address Book and Groups Editor allow the user to identify users and create user specific groups. Messages can only be sent to users within the Communicare application; it’s also possible to send IntraMail to yourself, as a reminder, either related to a patient, or not. The IntraMail is all kept securely within the Communicare system. For more information, see IntraMail.

Progress Note Auditing

An audit trail is now kept of changes made to a progress note when a service is changed retrospectively.
  • When viewing the progress notes list, at any detail level, the service banner (where provider name and time is displayed) will be have the word “<Amended>” appended for any progress note that has been changed.
  • The original version of the progress note will also appear in the progress note list when the detail level is 5. It will show as grey and the service banner will have the word “<Deleted>” appended.
  • If the note has been amended multiple times, every earlier (non-current) version will be displayed below the current version, in the order of modification, with username and timestamp.
  • The Patient Summary report now has an option to include deleted progress notes in the progress note list.
  • The letter item, Clinical Record | Progress Note, now allows you to select deleted progress notes to insert into a letter. Progress notes inserted into a letter will have <Amended> or <Deleted> in their title as appropriate.

NOTE: The above auditing described for amended progress notes only applies to progress notes that were changed in Communicare version 14.3 or later.

Validation of Patient Identifiers

Validation of patient identifiers is performed every day, automatically, on the server.
  • HI Service
  • MEHR

This allows for faster and more reliable access to external electronic health records from a patient's Clinical Record and Biographics.

Patient Biographics

More than two family members can now be added to a patient's Biographics. Family members can be selected from the database or added manually. The family member records can be linked to other patient records to allow formal linking of related patients, or entered as free-text for family that are not Communicare patients.

NOTE: Administrators should review any locally made reports that use the kin type details of a patient’s Biographics and contact Communicare to arrange an update. These reports may report no data or misleading data following the upgrade.
  • It is now possible to record that a patient is confirmed as having no phone via a check box in Patient Biographics. At some sites the phone number '00' is used when a patient does not have a particular type of phone. On upgrade to this version, patients with work, mobile and home phone numbers all recorded as '00' will have these values cleared; this will only be the case if all three are '00'.
  • It is now possible to record the fact that a patient's biographics have been reviewed and confirmed as being up-to-date. The new Review &amp; Save button on Patient Biographics will record the username of the reviewer and the date of the review. This information will then be visible on the Personal tab the next time the biographics are opened and also on the information panel on the Patient Search screen.
  • The system rights 'Patient Add' and 'Patient Edit' have been added to allow greater control over which users can add patients and edit patient biographics. Upon upgrade to this version all users who previously had the right to add patients and edit patient biographics will automatically be granted these new rights. See System Rights for more details.

Prefer No Contact (Opt-Out)

The preferred contact dropdown in Patient Biographics has been updated to include two new options: 'Letter' and 'No Contact'.

‘No Contact’ is intended as a patient opt-out of direct marketing material. The ‘No Contact’ option will clear the patient phone number fields when selected after upgrade.

NOTE: It is not intended to prevent contact being made with a patient where a clinician is following-up on medical treatment. When a patient requests no contact, the extent to which ‘no contact’ will be respected should be discussed with the patient's provider first, and according to the organisation's privacy practices.

Service Recording

A phone field has been added to the three Services reports available from the the Service Recording window. It will show either the patient’s mobile phone number, home phone number, or work phone number in that order. If the patient has no phone number recorded it will say ‘No Phone’.

PDF Attachments

Review details may now be added against PDF attachments. In the Clinical Record, when you add a PDF attachment you are now able to view the attached PDF document as part of the Document Viewing form. When opening the attachment you can now view it in the Document Viewing form rather than using external PDF software.

Incoming Documents

  • The option to create a new document based on an incoming document when opening the document from within the clinical record has now been removed. These documents will now open immediately with no prompt. For other read-only documents this functionality will remain.
  • PDF Attachments
    • Review details may now be added against PDF attachments. All attachments added before the upgrade to this release will default to reviewed with the reviewer being the provider that added the document. Newly attached documents will default to unreviewed.
    • In the Clinical Record, when you add a PDF attachment you are now able to view the attached pdf document as part of the Document Viewing form. When opening the attachment you can now view it in the Document Viewing form rather than using external PDF software.
    • Documents and Results: The Scanned Documents tab is now called Scanned Documents and Attachments, and has a new button to allow adding PDF attachments. As in the Clinical Record, when adding or viewing an attachment you can now see it as part of the Document Viewing form.
  • HL7 PDF Support
    • HL7 embedded PDF is now supported for documents that are received via Secure Messaging. The document (e.g. Discharge Summary) will be available in Documents and Results, Received Documents tab and can be viewed in Document Editor. This applies only to incoming documents and not to investigation results. See Documents for more details.

Adverse Reaction Warning when Prescribing

When prescribing, the warning that the patient has no adverse reaction information recorded will now appear before the drug selection rather than after.

Central Data Updates

  • Diabetes Cycle of Care
    • The centrally distributed diabetes cycle of care is no longer linked to MBS item 2517. This means that any completed item will not automatically select this item for claiming. This is in response to providers who routinely select alternative item numbers for this procedure. If a health service has a local variation of this item the administrator should consider this change for that item also.
    • Note that the only centrally distributed items that have this behaviour of selecting a suitable Medicare item for claiming are the three Aboriginal health checks (child, adult and over 55s) which will, on completion, select item 715 for claiming.
  • KICA cognitive check
    • Communicare now distributes a clinical item 'Check up;KICA cognitive check' as part of the 'Communicare Value Added' dataset. This is a validated cognitive screening tool for older Indigenous Australians living in rural and remote areas. See for further details.

NT KPI Reports

This version of Communicare introduces version 2.0.4 of the NT Aboriginal Health Key Performance Indicators. See NTKPI for more details.


  • SQL Report Editor and Reports Search windows now have options to Import and Export reports. Reports may only be exported in XML format.
  • The Query Builder Import and Export Options have been moved from the File | Queries submenu to a new Tools | Query Builder | Manage Query Builder Reports option. The current Tools | Query Builder option has also been moved into this submenu.

Clinical Item Maintenance

Clinical Items can also be configured to record a date and time, or time only, as opposed to date only.

Qualifier Types

The qualifier type 'Dropdown List with text box' has been removed and the functionality of the 'Dropdown List' qualifier type has been expanded to include the option to specify additional text when certain values are selected. All existing 'Dropdown List with text box' qualifiers have been converted to 'Dropdown List' qualifiers. See Dropdown List Qualifiers for more information.

Transport Requirements

In version 13.6, a rule was introduced that limited transport requirement to only having either a pickup date or a dropoff date, and not both. This has now been reversed, although a message will be displayed to the user when both dates are entered to confirm that they have left enough time between the two. Likewise, if the dropoff is on a different day to the pickup and message will be displayed to the user to confirm that this was intentional.

A new transport cancellation reason has been added for occasions when then transport requirement has been cancelled due to the rescheduling of an appointment. The new reason is called 'Appointment rescheduled'. This reason will be automatically used as the cancellation reason for transport requirements cancelled after an associated appointment is cancelled and the reason chosen for the cancellation of the appointment was 'Rescheduled' or 'Queue for rescheduling'.

ACIR Claiming Provider

A new field has been added to the Encounter Place Edit form, called ACIR Provider No. This will be used as the default provider number on all ACIR claims. The way that the provider number against ACIR claims is calculated has changed. For any ACIR Claim, the provider number is selected as follows:
  • ACIR Provider number against the encounter place of the service.
  • If no ACIR Provider number has been entered against the encounter place, then the provider number of the Default ACIR Claimant recorded against the encounter place.
  • If there is no Default ACIR Claimant recorded against that encounter place, then the provider number of the provider who recorded the immunisation.
  • If this provider doesn't have a valid provider number for this encounter place, then the provider number of any other claiming provider that was on the same service is used.

.Net Requirements

Some Communicare modules require Microsoft .Net Framework 4.0 or greater to be installed. These modules are:
  • Communicare Licencing
  • SMS Messaging
  • Intramail
  • Attaching PDF Documents
  • National Prescription and Dispense Repository (NPDR)
  • Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR)
  • Clinical Document Architecture (CDA)
  • Electronic Transfer of Prescription (ETP)
  • Healthcare Identifier Service (HI)
  • Human Services Directory (HSD)
  • Secure Messaging
  • Reports outputting to the ANFPP web service, see Edit SQL Reports