Success StoriesMental Health

Case Study – Northern Adelaide Medical Local Implement MasterCare for Mental Health

Northern Adelaide Medical Local

Delivering better mental health outcomes with MasterCare EMR


At the time of implementation, Northern Adelaide Medicare Local (NAML, formerly ANDGP) was located in one of the fastest growing regions in South Australia. The division had a major focus on responding to the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions in the local community.

The main areas of focus were responding to mental health disorders, additional areas of high activity in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases and cancer.

At the time there were 62 practices and 192 GPs working within the division.


The Situation

NAML needed a software solution to replace their cumbersome method of data reporting and collection on using a system called Nexoz and Microsoft Word.

Nexoz was used to collect client data, minimum dataset requirements and provided clinicians with a basic appointment diary, while Microsoft Word was used to complete case notes. These notes were printed and added to paper files then mailed to general practices. The staff would scan the notes into patient files or put them into a USB to upload into their clinical system.

The administrative component was time-consuming, painstaking and often inaccurate. The process involved updating clinical diaries and client information; this was slow and reliant on extensive administrative support. The generation on of client lists for individual practices was done manually.


The Solution

MasterCare EMR was chosen as the best system to replace their current process. It was installed and used by one of NAML’s team of seven clinicians.

MasterCare MHAGIC is Global Health’s mental health clinical system and supported all of NAML’s clinical needs for the management, assessment and risk evaluation on of mental health clients. Using a “tick and click system”, it enabled accurate and high-quality assessments to be produced in minutes rather than hours.

MHAGIC provides a broad set of features for the administrative and clinical needs for management of referrals, assessment, evaluation on and recordkeeping requirements of mental health clients including:

  • Patient demographic data
  • Clinical notes
  • Assessments
  • Management & care plans
  • MIMS – medication
  • ECLIPSE online claiming
  • 24 outcome measures
  • Appointment booking (Microsoft Outlook interface)
  • Team-based messaging
  • ReferralNet (secure messaging solution)


The Transformation

Management, administration staff and clinicians were trained in the capabilities and flexibility of the MasterCare MHAGIC mental health software. Clinicians were initially a little overwhelmed by the comprehensive capabilities of MHAGIC but were quickly reassured by the time-saving benefits.

Comprehensive Appointment Booking

MasterCare provides clinicians with the ability to quickly, simply and accurately record client information and sessions.

Information and appointments can be directly imported from Microsoft Outlook calendars into MasterCare EMR providing an up-to-date, flexible and all-encompassing diary system for the division.

Each clinician has a comprehensive diary page which displays:

  • meetings
  • other non-client events
  • current appointments their status (booked or confirmed)
  • unavailable periods
  • leave, etc.

The Benefits of MasterCare EMR

Appointments Managed More Efficiently

Client attendance, cancellation or non-attendance can be quickly and easily updated by the clinician; providing the GP division with accurate and up-to-date clinical records. Clinicians can quickly become informed of cancelled appointments even when they’re off-site. These can then be back-filled, allowing the more productive use of clinical time.

For new appointments, clinicians can select days and times that they are available to see new clients and administration can fill these accordingly. Double bookings are now rare, but if it does happen it can be detected and easily rectified.

Referrals Generated Electronically and Sent Securely Online

MasterCare EMR also incorporated electronic referral forms that are used by practices across the division. This has led to the discontinuation of paper files and the decrease in the amount of administration time spent by clinicians and administrative support. Referrals are received electronically using Global Health’s secure messaging service, ReferralNet. Practices are able to receive assessments, session notes and closures by secure email or by electronic transfer directly into their clinical system.

Assessment Times Cut Down

Assessments via MasterCare EMR had cut the time taken for clinicians to enter this information to approximately one-third of the previous method.

This is possible because:

  • Assessments are standardised and incorporate wizards for presentation and mental state assessment.
  • Risk assessments for suicide and violence are standardised and calculated as information is entered, alerting the clinician to the need for management plans, etc.
  • Assessment information is collected and entered within a recognised standardised format fulfilling the legal requirements.
  • Assessments are locked after 3 days of initiating and information and dates cannot be changed. Once information is entered, saved and recorded as complete – it cannot be edited.
  • Access to client information is restricted to assigned clinicians and management, adding to privacy and confidentiality.

Flexibility in Additional Datasets

The GP division incorporated Northern Headspace and Shared Care teams into their EMR database.

Their individual reporting requirement minimum datasets were incorporated into the MasterCare system. The flexibility of MasterCare EMR assessments enabled the capture of this additional information for young and tier 3 Shared Care mental health clients.

Access to MasterCare Off-Site

Clinicians were able to access MasterCare EMR remotely via practice computers through NAML’s website. Administration time spent by individual clinicians was halved.

Normally clinicians need to do their administrative work (e.g. input client notes) at the head office or during their administration day. With remote access, clinicians can do this task during their downtime from cancelled appointments.

Comprehensive Appointment Booking

Referrals are processed quickly by administrative staff who record the minimum dataset, client demographics, GPs details, medications, DASS outcomes, etc. Appointment letters are automatically generated with minimum input. Clinicians are also able to add session notes, assessments and file notes.

Useful and Accurate Operational Reports

Individual clinician client lists and team lists can be reviewed. The division can see at a glance how clinical time is being spent each day and across a reporting period. Summary reports for individual clients can be generated and additional information can be included such as consulting doctors, hospital episodes, medications and diagnosis – initial, additional and final. The GP Division can also review outcomes and instantly view graphical data of initial, interim and final outcome measures.

Easy to Generate Management Reports

From a management perspective, MasterCare has made it easier, simpler and quicker to:

  • Extract any combination of captured data to formulate graphs, tables and reports of individual or combined data.
  • Generate reports about DNA’s, cancellations, closures, outcomes, rate of referral per practice, GP, client load per clinician, number of sessions, gender, age, education levels, etc.
  • Generate reports that highlight which clients are in a particular session and need to be recalled by the practice for review, which clients the team has received review outcomes for and which are outstanding.
  • Access assessments and progress reports as well as obtain an accurate overview of a particular client history.

Find out more about MasterCare EMR

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