Currently there are no widely used systems to electronically record individual patient consultations with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners. As TCM practice differs significantly from western medicine both in diagnosis and treatment, using information systems created for western medicine is not suitable. There is a need for information systems developed specifically for TCM practitioners to manage patient consultation and treatments. Such system should be designed to facilitate safe and effective practice by providing decision support, utilising existing knowledge such as known herb-drug interactions to signal safety risks. Utilising current and developing standards and vocabularies such as those developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) is important to facilitate interoperability with other systems. To facilitate continued growth in consumer demand, this type of system should be compatible with the needs of the individual electronic health records and other medical systems, and provide interfaces to external systems such as Medicare, pathology and radiology systems, and insurance systems. This paper presents the high level design of a patient consultation system for TCM practitioners that addresses the individual practitioner's needs for health records entry, storage, retrieval, display and support in managing health care delivery to patients and be part of Australia's emerging e-health system.
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