Information for Primary Care

If one of your patients is seen by St John in the community and not transported to a healthcare facility (hospital, A&M, maternity unit, etc.) then we will endeavour to let you know unless they ask us not to.  This includes deceased people.

We assume that if they are transported then the receiving facility will advise you.

There are two mechanisms by which you may receive advice of an ambulance attendance:

             1.        In your PMS inbox as an Ambulance Care Summary (ACS) sent through HealthLink.

             2.        On a paper “Ambulance Care Summary Sheet” carried by the patient.

Our intent in providing this advice is to improve patients’ continuity of care, ensure you are aware of an ambulance attendance to your patient and improve information sharing within the health sector.

Please note that this advice is not intended as a transfer of care; if there is ever a need for a transfer of care or for urgent action to be taken, ambulance personnel will phone you.

What is sent through HealthLink?

The ACS includes the history taken, a summary of the patient’s clinical problem, any treatment administered, and recommendations provided to the patient.  It has been designed specifically for general practices, with feedback incorporated from the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

The ACS is sent via Healthlink using the HL7 protocol, ensuring security and privacy.  The basis for the message structure is the REF^I12 message type within the HL7 2.4 message standard described here

The patients’ practices are found by using NHI Number to look up the National Enrolment System.  The HealthLink directory is then used to find the practice’s HealthLink EDI address.

Your practice will receive the summaries into your PMS system’s default Service Provider Inbox, and the summaries will have an NHI number to allow easy filing.  We can only send them to the practice and not directly to the patient’s GP because that information is not available from the Ministry of Health’s National Enrolment System.

You can choose to read the summaries as they come in, look at them the next time you see that patient, or have a member of the general practice team (e.g. practice nurse) review them.

You may access a more detailed ACS by clicking here. You will be asked to enter the ACS Access Code (from the HealthLink message) and patient’s date of birth.

You can access the full record this way for up to one week; after that please contact the St John Referrals Coordinator at info@stjohn.org.nz or by phoning 0800 ST JOHN (0800 473 876) and asking to speak to the Referrals Coordinator.

What do I do with the code written on a paper sheet?

Your patient could present with an A5 sheet, an “Ambulance Care Summary Sheet” that they were given when seen by an Ambulance Officer but not transported.  You may access the ACS by clicking here. You will be asked to enter the ACS Access Code (from the ACS Sheet) and patient’s date of birth.

Something has gone wrong, what do I do?

If the information below doesn't help then please contact the St John Referrals Coordinator at info@stjohn.org.nz or by phoning 0800 ST JOHN (0800 473 876) and asking to speak to the Referrals Coordinator. They will arrange for the appropriate action to be taken.

I haven’t received an ACS

You may become aware that St John has attended your patient and not advised you.  This could be for one of several reasons.

  1. Patient was transported.  We assume that the receiving facility will advise you (e.g. via a hospital Electronic Discharge Summary).
  2. Patient is not enrolled with a PHO.  We use the MoH’s National Enrolment System (NES) to find out where a patient is enrolled.  This only records people who are enrolled with a PHO; if the patient is enrolled with your practice but not with a PHO then we are not privy to that information.
  3. Patient has only recently enrolled with your PHO.  The NES may not have been updated yet so the ACS was sent to the patient’s previous practice.
  4. Patient has opted-out of information sharing.  In this case we are unable to share the ACS with you because the patient has specifically asked us not to.
  5. Electronic record was not used.  Sometimes the ePRF system is not available and we take paper clinical notes.  We do not proactively share these with GPs, though they are available to you on request.

I received an ACS for someone who is not a patient of mine

You may receive an ACS through HealthLink for an ex-patient or for someone you don’t know.  Please delete the message and contact us.  There are two likely reasons:

  1. Incorrect NHI Number recorded.  The Ambulance Officer recorded the wrong person’s NHI Number.  This is potentially serious as the ACS cannot be accessed through the “correct” person’s NHI Number.
  2. National Enrolment System is wrong.  It is possible that a recent change of enrolment is not yet reflected in the NES.

I am unable to retrieve an ACS from acs.stjohn.org.nz

There are three likely reasons if you can’t retrieve the ACS from our website:

  1. Site not found message.  Check the spelling acs.stjohn.org.nz; check you are using https (not http); check your firewall settings.
  2. Site behaves strangely.  For example, the layout is scrambled, your browser terminates unexpectedly, you receive unusual error messages.  Clear your browser’s cache and try again.
  3. Website gives an error message “No record exists against provided Ambulance Care Summary Access Code”.  This is probably because the Ambulance Officer recorded the patient’s date of birth incorrectly.  If you have received a HealthLink message then use the date of birth on the message even if it is wrong, because that is the date we have recorded.  After five unsuccessful attempts you will be locked out of the website for 10 minutes; try again after that.
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