Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Few Answers We Would Like from the E-Health Summit in Two Weeks. If They Ever Get it Together!

The following - showing just how chaotic the arrangements for the e-Health Summit are - appeared earlier today.

Conroy enlisted to help sell e-health plan

NICOLA Roxon has drafted Stephen Conroy to help talk up her $466.7 million e-health record plan at an invitees-only summit later this month.

To date, the two are the only confirmed speakers for the two-day forum in Melbourne on November 30-December 1.

The federal Health Minister's spokeswoman said the program was still not finalised as organisers were awaiting confirmation from an international speaker.

She could not supply details of local " health experts, clinicians, consumer representatives, health administrators and IT specialists" participating in the "landmark forum to explore the future of e-health in Australia".

It's understood only a trickle of invitations have gone out after a complex registration and selection process; apparently the 400-seat capacity booked at the Convention Centre was oversubscribed by almost 100 per cent.

"Over two days, compelling speakers will lead the conversation through plenary sessions, while subject matter specialists will lead streams that focus on the national e-health agenda," the invitation email says.

The Australian understands most people are still waiting for word from the department, leaving business and travel arrangements in limbo. But even those with an invitation have no idea what's on the agenda.

Ticketholders can at least access the largely empty e-healthconference.gov.au website, which is identification passcode-protected.

More discussion of the mess is found here:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/conroy-enlisted-to-help-sell-e-health-plan/story-e6frgakx-1225954050455

Before suggesting some questions the participants who actually get there might ask can I point out you can check the progress of organisation and the programme here - without being registered - at least for now:

http://www.ehealthconference.gov.au/home.asp

You can see how unready the whole thing is 2 weeks out!

The key questions I want to see addressed are:

1. Just what exactly is meant by a Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR)?

2. Exactly how is the PCEHR intended to operate?

3. What is the literature evidence that supports the adoption of this - rather than a more conventional - approach to the progressive implementation of e-Health?

4. Where has a PCEHR similar to the proposal been successfully implemented?

5. Where is the information to be held in the PCEHR to be sourced from and how will the quality of the information be assured? Will providers be paid for providing information?

6. What support is the Government planning for provider EHRs and Secure Clinical Messaging.

7. What will be the medico-legal status of information held in PCEHRs and what will be the consequences if clinicians mistakenly act on erroneous information? Will they be indemnified?

8. What is the evidence base that supports the other Government e-Health proposals (teleconsultation and the like) as the optimal expenditure of the available funds?

9. How do the PCERH and the other proposals fit with the National E-Health Strategy which has been endorsed by Health Ministers and has yet to be implemented?

10. When are the issues of absent leadership and failing governance in the e-Health domain going to be addressed?

If we could get satisfactory answers to those points - and feel free to suggest others - the Summit might just be worthwhile.

David.

No comments: