Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This Looks Like Desperate Pre-Election Promising To Me! How Credible Is It?

The following leapt out just before we all went to the polls

First places in Australia to get E-Health

Nicola Roxon posted Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Brisbane, the Hunter Valley and Melbourne’s eastern suburbs will be at the cutting edge of cyber health advances as the first areas in Australia to use electronic health records.

These three sites will lead Australia as the Gillard Labor Government takes the health system into the 21st Century by building an electronic health record system that improves patient care and the safety and efficiency of the health system.

“This is an important step forward in allowing online access to health records for each Australian that chooses to,” Minister for Health Nicola Roxon said.

“Patients will control what goes onto their record and who can access their information.

“Brisbane, Melbourne and Hunter Valley residents who agree to participate at one of these sites will be at the forefront of this exciting new initiative.”

“This builds on the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday that Medicare rebates will be provided for online consultations across a range of specialities for the first time,” Ms Roxon said.

Each of the e-health sites announced today – GPpartners (QLD), GP Access (NSW) and Melbourne East GP Network (Victoria) – was chosen because they already have strong e-health capability and support within their communities.

In addition to e-health records, these three sites will use health care identifiers for patients, providers and hospitals, and will be the first to electronically send discharge summaries and referrals using national specifications.

These sites will help lead the way in developing and informing future planning of the system, improving technology and identifying what works well and what could work better. The two year investment in the three sites will be up to $12.5 million in total.

The state governments of the three states will also join this partnership to drive e-health forward in these communities. The Queensland Government has committed $1.2 million of in-kind support to GP Partners. The NSW Government has also committed $1.2 million to support the initiative and will work with the National E-Health Transition Authority to integrate their Healthelink pilot program with the national rollout.

If re-elected, the Gillard Labor Government will call for expressions of interest to identify further lead implementation sites in the near future, and significant funding will be available to support this process.

The e-health system will also benefit from the roll out of the National Broadband Network.

More here:


There is coverage here:

Online trial of e-health records has begun

HEALTH Minister Nicola Roxon is preparing to announce the first sites for her $466.7 million personally controlled e-health records program.

"The government will soon make an announcement on where in Australia patients will be first to have access to PCEHRs," she said yesterday.

"This is an exciting next step as the Gillard Labor government builds the health system we need for the future."

The Australian can reveal the Health Department signed contracts with three GP divisions -- Hunter Urban in NSW, Melbourne East in Victoria and GP Partners in Brisbane -- to "develop lead implementation site" proposals in mid-July.

These divisions all have expertise in health IT, and each received $100,000 for the work.

The National E-Health Transition Authority has a $300,000 one-year contract to co-ordinate the project.

More here:


and here:

Labor launches e-health records

$12.5 million of funding provided over two years to three GP communities in Queensland, NSW and Victoria

Sites in Brisbane, the Hunter Valley and Melbourne's eastern suburbs will receive $12.5 million over two years as the starting point for the Labor party’s proposed $466.7 million e-health records policy.

Three general practitioner networks - GPpartners in Brisbane, GP Access in the Hunter Valley and the Melbourne East GP Network - will receive the funding to implement both the e-health records and unique health care identifiers for patients, providers and hospitals, as well as electronic discharge summary and referrals systems.

Funding for the e-health project was earmarked in the 2010/2011 Federal Budget, but thus far no details have been released as to how that money would be spent, or what standards would be adopted for inter-compatibility of e-health record systems, confusing industry groups and healthcare providers. The government organisation charged with implementing the systems, the National eHealth Transition Authority (NeHTA) has largely remained silent on the topic.

Health minister, Nicola Roxon, has suggested that under Labor’s plan, Medicare Australia may be considered to host the e-health record data in addition to the unique identifiers it has already implemented and assigned to 97 per cent of Australians.

It is also known that the e-health records will be voluntary and personally controlled by the patient, allowing them to determine what information is visible to healthcare providers, and which providers have access to the record. The records are also likely to tie into a new $392.3 million initiative that would see the Government issue Medicare rebates for medical consultations conducted online over the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Of the three clinics chosen, the Brisbane-based GPpartners has been the most active in the e-health arena, implementing its Health Record eXchange (HRX) in 400 providers including Queensland’s Metro North Health Service District over the last five years. As at February this year, the implementation had seen a 26 per cent reduction in the cost of administering patients, with 1320 patients having been registered on the system by June 2008.

In a letter to local newspaper, Northside Chronicle, GPpartners chair, Dr Henry Brian, dismissed the privacy concerns that have dogged the rollout of e-health records nationally, saying that a system would simply save lives.

GP Access in the Hunter Valley provides internal administrative services to general practitioners in its network. The Melbourne East GP Network currently runs an e-health Practice Incentives Program (PIP) using the NeHTA-compliant Argus secure messaging protocol.

In addition to the $12.5 provided by the Federal Government, the Queensland and NSW State Governments will each commit $1.2 million to support their respective GP communities, with NSW pledged to integrate its Healthelink pilot program with the national rollout through NeHTA.

More here:


and here:

Labor announces first e-health record sites

By Josh Taylor, ZDNet.com.au on August 17th, 2010

Residents of Brisbane, Melbourne and the Hunter Valley will be the very first to get electronic health records, Health Minister Nicola Roxon has announced today.

"This is an important step forward in allowing online access to health records for each Australian that chooses to," Roxon said in a statement. "Patients will control what goes onto their record and who can access their information."

"This builds on the Prime Minister's announcement yesterday that Medicare rebates will be provided for online consultations across a range of specialities for the first time," she added.

According to Roxon, GPpartners in Queensland, GP Access in New South Wales, and Melbourne East GP Network in Victoria were chosen for the roll-out, as they already had e-health technology available.

The government has outlined $12.5 million in funding for the three sites, which comes from the $466.7 million investment the Federal Government outlined in this year's budget.

The Queensland Government has also committed to providing GPpartners with $1.2 million in funding, while the New South Wales Government has promised to chip in $1.2 million to the roll-out. NSW will work to integrate its Healthelink pilot program with the National E-Health Transition Authority's national roll-out.

More here:


as well as here:

E-Health records become a reality

Three sites across Australia to take part in GP network trial

The Federal Government's $466.7 million e-health records scheme will shortly start to surface in patients’ lives in the real world, with Health Minister Nicola Roxon announcing three trial general practitioner networks that will start to implement the technology.

Labor allocated the money in the last Federal Budget after years of the health industry and technology experts calling for development and national leadership in e-health and health identifier technology to better tie together patients' records and achieve clinical outcomes.

The Opposition, however, has pledged to cancel the scheme.

The three GP networks will be GPpartners in Brisbane, GP Access in the Hunter Vally in New South Wales and the Melbourne East GP Network in Victoria.

"This is an important step forward in allowing online access to health records for each Australian that chooses to," said Roxon in a statement, noting the networks were chosen because they already have strong e-health capability within their communities.

More here:


and last here:

Labor unveils e-health records trial sites

  • Karen Dearne
  • From: Australian IT
  • August 17, 2010 4:27PM

LABOR will rely on a Howard government e-health project to kickstart its $467 million personally controlled e-health records strategy.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon has confirmed GP Partners in Brisbane, GP Access in the NSW Hunter Valley and Melbourne East will receive $12.5 million in total funding to act as pilot sites over the next two years.

The Australian today revealed the three GP divisions had been selected as lead implementation sites, under a project led by the National E-Health Transition Authority.

Ms Roxon said the three lead sites "will be at the cutting edge of cyber-health advances".

They will also trial the new healthcare identifiers regime, and will be first to electronically send hospital discharge summaries and referrals using national specifications, she said.

The Queensland government has already committed $1.2m in in-kind support to GP Partners, while NSW will commit the same amount for the Hunter trial.

More here:


So suddenly by giving $100,000 to 3 divisions and having NEHTA co-ordinate for $300,000 we can have e-health records up and being piloted!

I am sure there are all fully standardised, data and content interoperable implementations that have just suddenly sprung into existence fully functional, fully privacy complaint and so on!

If only it was so easy, why was it not done years ago?

I look forward to the independent evaluations of what has been obtained for the total $12.5M and the matching State contributions. I would be willing to bet they never reach the public domain, just like the evaluation reports of most of the HealthConnect expenditure – and yes I do know there was an obfuscatory summary report released ages ago!

From this report it hardly looks like we have a co-ordinated strategic set of projects. Much more like an emergency political fix to me!

E-health measures progress as minority government looms

Announced funding for e-health trial sites will yield a proposal by the end of September, though the fate of the program remains uncertain

Election analysts predict that it could take as much as two weeks to decide the fate of the Australian Government, but planned e-health measures are expected to progress in as little as a month.

The $12.5 million provided by the Labor party during the election campaign to three pilot sites in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, is expected to yield a proposal for the implementation of voluntary, personally controlled e-health records on a national scale by the end of September.

NSW and Queensland state governments each committed a further $1.2 million in funding to the program, amounting to $14.9 million for the implementation of records.

The three sites - GPpartners in Brisbane, GP Access in the Hunter Valley and the Melbourne East GP Network - are in the process of collaborating on the proposal, which will see each provide specialised technologies and technical support to stakeholders.

GPpartners in Brisbane, for example, has been trialing its Health Record eXchange (HRX) software in 400 providers over the last five years, putting it in the best place to provide the software itself as well as the web-based interface required by both clinicians and patients to control the records.

GP Access, which provides services to 400 clinics on NSW’s Central Coast, has rolled out generic secure messaging software to 98 per cent of clinics in the area, allowing different systems to communicate and send referrals between practitioners and specialists. The GP network was a finalist in the Australian Telecommunications User Group’s (ATUG) national awards in 2006 for the proliferation of managed broadband services to GP clinics across the region and has aided some clinics in going completely paperless.

The Melbourne East GP Network has also facilitated the roll out of a secure messaging system based on Argus, as well as a shared referrals and health records system.

GP Access IT team leader, Jason Ruminek, told Computerworld Australia that the organisation was in a “holding pattern at this stage” over the funding, but that the project was still progressing.

Lots more here:


Is anyone else surprised that the flagship Shared EHR in the Northern Territory did not get some funds?



Anonymous said...

Today's Australian Financial review (page 34) carries an instructive article by Rachel Bolton "The sick state of electronic health".

After reading it anyone with a modicum of intelligence should be able to accurately predict the future for each of the three projects you refer to.

Dr David More MB, PhD, FACHI said...

Yes, an excellent article showing just how hard this all is. Pity the NHHRC did not ask a few wiser heads before they formulated their recommendations.

This is a topic I have explored frequently on the blog!


Anonymous said...

It is a topic you have explored ad infinitum on your blog. I am aware that you have not been alone. Others too of extensive experience have explored it in great depth; both publicly and privately, at state and federal levels.

Based on their experience the general consensus is that inside the federal bureaucracy, and extending far afield into the state bureaucracies and NEHTA, there is a deeply ingrained belief that there is no other way to address the whole-of-ehealth other than the way that has been adopted to-date. Therein lies the real Shakespearean tragedy.

Anonymous said...

Is the GP Partners software the same software, or derived from the software that was developed using HealthConnect funding in 2003, and using the openEHR architecture? From memory, it was trialled in a South Brisbane Division of GP, for managing patients with diabetes.

Anonymous said...

The exCIO of NEHTA joined GP partners so it is reasonable to expect a close connection.

Anonymous said...

Why undertake a non transparent selection process instead of a tender when all it does is now raise the clear spectre of a corrupt process relying on preferential treatment for those with a past relationship to NEHTA. Opposition will have a field day. Good one DOHA!