Overview of DHR

The DHR is the ACT’s new electronic medical records system. DHR is a research-enabling platform that integrates clinical care and research to improve patient experience, optimize patient care, and enhance operational research efficiency. Clinicians’ documentation in the system creates a rich data set to support research, discovery, and innovation. It will be used in ACT public health services. This includes:

  • Canberra Hospital
  • North Canberra Hospital 
  • Clare Holland House
  • Centenary Hospital for Women and Children
  • University Canberra Hospital
  • Community Health Centres 
  • Walk-in-Centres in the ACT

Private health facilities are not included.

Research Functionalities within DHR

DHR has functionalities that allow researchers to conduct feasibility queries, identify and screen potential participants, and collect research and analyse data. These functionalities include, but are not limited to:

  • Exploring study feasibility.
  • Performing basic research study administration.
  • Recruiting participants.
  • Managing study consents.
  • Tracking and managing study amendments.
  • Associating patients with research studies.
  • Associating visits with research studies.
  • Associating orders with research studies
  • Managing adverse events.
  • Documenting research notes.
  • Capturing study-specific data.
  • Sending patient-entered questionnaires.
  • Enabling external study monitor chart review.

By moving to an integrated platform, clinicians across ACT public health services will now have visibility into a patient’s enrolment in a study, allowing study staff to be notified when a study patient is admitted to the hospital, warning clinicians when placing orders for contraindicated medications, and flagging records as research-related for medical records staff.

The Go-Live date for DHR is 12th November 2022

There is a considerable amount of work underway across the hospitals to ensure a smooth transition. Whilst we believe the benefits of DHR’s introduction will be evident very quickly, we know that the weeks immediately following Go-Live may pose some challenges, some of which you, as our Sponsors, may be affected by. 

Changes to procedures or documents

Please note the following procedures or documents may need to be revised to recognise the changes will include: 

  • Case Report Forms, Source Documents, Record Keeping and Archiving 
  • Patient Informed Consent Forms
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the management of clinical trials and related activities
  • SOPs for data release and disclosure policy

Interruptions to Study Activities

Please liaise with your respective research coordinator regarding any specific impact to study visits or other activities (e.g., site initiation visits, monitoring visits, participant recruitment, etc.). 

DHR Access and Training for Study Monitors

Your research coordinator will arrange read-only DHR Link access for existing monitors post Go-Live. Access will then be activated at the time of specific visits and is restricted only to participants associated with the
study that the study monitor is responsible for monitoring. The video demo and tip sheets will be provided to study monitors about how to use DHR Link.

Steps to facilitate DHR Link access

  • Before requesting access to the DHR Link for monitors, the research project must have ethical approval and governance authorisation at the site at which DHR Link access to patients is being requested.
  • It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI) or delegate (e.g. Study Coordinators) to request access to the DHR Link on behalf of the monitors. 
  • This is to be done by sending a Jira ticket to digital.support@act.gov.au.
  • The monitor is provided with a login username and password to access patient information via DHR Link.
  • Duration and access level to patient information by monitors is restricted to a maximum of 5 days.

Responsibilities of the Principal Investigator or delegate 

  • Arrange access for the monitors to the relevant participant/patient group and ensure they are familiarised with the operation of DHR.
  • Inform the monitor of their obligations in accordance with the conditions of HREC approval and the relevant ACT public health services regulatory, legal requirements and appropriate use for research data.
  • Ensure all necessary permissions are obtained prior to the monitor accessing DHR, e.g. signed consent from the participant(s), an appropriate Clinical Trial Research Agreement or Research Collaboration Agreement, DHR Link Account request by the Site PI, Research Manager or Delegated Senior Researcher who is employed by the relevant DHR hospital sites.
  • Ensure the monitor is aware that improper use of the DHR data, including breaches of confidentiality, may result in termination of access.

Contact for further information

Email us at digital.support@act.gov.au or call our Digital Solutions Support team on (02) 5124 5000.

Page last updated on: 3 Jul 2023