Thursday, February 10, 2011

It Seems That In the UK Patients Are Not All That Interested in Their Health Records. Important Lesson for Proposed PCEHR Possibly!

The following appeared a day or so ago.

Low figures for HealthSpace use revealed

8 February 2011 Fiona Barr

Just 60 patients a month - out of almost 5m with a Summary Care Record - are viewing their SCR via the government’s patient portal, HealthSpace.

The latest figures obtained by EHI Primary Care show that patients have so far demonstrated very little appetite for online access to their record via the portal.

The figures have come to light as the Department of Health works on its forthcoming information strategy, in which online access to records for patients is likely to feature prominently.

The DH has described online record access as a “headline objective” for its NHS reforms and this week a spokesperson told EHI Primary Care that an outline business case to enhance the HealthSpace service was in the approvals process.

The previous, Labour government launched HealthSpace’s advanced account in 2007.

This enables patients to view their SCR through the portal, which was originally set up as an online health organiser.

However, in more than three years, fewer than 3,000 patients have chosen to set up such an account.

Just ten primary care trusts are offering patients advanced accounts; 2,971 of their patients had set up an advanced account by 26 January this year; and 673 patients have viewed their SCR via the portal.

More details here:

http://www.ehi.co.uk/news/primary-care/6623/low_figures_for_healthspace_use_revealed

Alert readers will note just how close this portal is, in concept, to the proposed PCEHR. It seems the idea has received the big ‘thumbs down’ in the UK.

I am sure there are all sorts of reasons for this lack of interest could be advanced:

- System was not user friendly.

- The use of the system was not well explained.

- The content was not rich enough to be interesting

- Others I have not thought of.

It is clear the good Professor Greenhalgh’s suggested questions (down further in the article) all need answers, and soon. DoHA and NEHTA should also be very interested!

We need to know, and soon, if the public find this sort of system useful and valuable, or not, before a great deal more money is spent!

David.

15 comments:

Tom Bowden said...

...whereas the personal health record offered by Kaiser Permanente, as part of their EPIC EMR system is used by 3 million people and its functionality and value are growing and growing.

Key of course is that the Kaiser PHR is the icing on a cake, baked with rich and useful information.

In the far eastern state of Australasia (the shaky isles of NZ) we are making a lot of PCEHR progress too. A leading EMR vendor "Medtech" has launched 'Manage My Health' which is gaining rapid adoption and raving fan reviews. Medtech is offering to link it to competing EMR products. But rather than talk up Medtecjh which I have no particular interest in doing, I'd point out that a large part of 'Manage My Health's sucesss (apart from its market driven design) is the fact that NZ is an information rich environment and the product sits atop very high quality individual data repository within the GP EMR(A NZ general practice obtains electronic clinical information from an average of 58 sources in any given month).

I would hope that from the information given above it would be possible to take a stab at the critical factors for success of a PCEHR.

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

Again, the need to do the infrastructure and provider before the so called PCEHR.

Sorry I am a cracked record but the necessary critical success factors are not available in Australia and it is as simple as that!

David.

Anonymous said...

Being employed to implement things like PCEHR I am constantly having to beat my head against the wall on the complete stupidity and lack of any brains of the people pushing this PCEHR garbage.

An opt-in PCEHR? what drugs are these people on? a program doomed to fail before it starts, people don't really care about, need or even want, the pushers of this 'concept' having no clue and tons of our money to throw around. yea I'll have two thanks!

We all know we need a SEHR that would actually do some good, but noooo we cant use our brains now can we...yes i'm pointing at you goverment idiots!!!

..end rant :)

Anonymous said...

You should try another line of work then, sounds like you we be a risk not worth having. It is still a free labour market

Anonymous said...

And this is exactly what many good people have done. The options are to look overseas for opportunities or try another line of work in Australia.

This has white-anted the Health IT skills pool to the point that should the government actually propose something sensible they would struggle to find anyone with experience to implement it.

Mind you, they seem to love engaging IT people without health IT experience, as they don't initially know enough to know that the plan is fatally flawed, so don't raise the appropriate objections (or just grab the cash and burn it up). The money gets spent, the cracks appear and it falls apart and its ground hog day yet again.

10 years, billions of $$$ spent and nothing to show. How long can this scandal be plastered over?

Anonymous said...

"they seem to love engaging IT people without health IT experience, as they don't initially know enough to know that the plan is fatally flawed".

After decades of experience in IT and in health spread across almost every major sector of the primary care, hospital and health department worlds in both the public and private sectors I can quite confidently state that such people with core on ground coalface experience in both health and IT are very reluctant to subject themselves to the frustrations of working in a bureaucratic quagmire irrespective of what money they might be paid. They want to participate in getting things done and despite the difficulties and obstacles they know the private sector is more conducive to that philosophy. Despite that there are some whom I know who are quite prepared to assist the public sector if the circumstances for the terms of their engagement was appropriate and came with genuine high level backing and support. One thing is certain we need some new blood in the mix pronto.

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

"if the circumstances for the terms of their engagement was appropriate and came with genuine high level backing and support."

Never seen that actually happen - as they say 'fool me once - bad luck - fool me twice - I am to blame".

David.

Anonymous said...

The terms of engagement come with a penalty clause just like we have in the private sector. "Fool me once" - initiates the penalty clause. It's that clear cut.

Anonymous said...

How can we find those people whom you say could help us in the public sector?

Anonymous said...

You could get the bureaucrats the hell out of the way and let us get on with it! It's half-witted, managerialism gone mad - see PCEHR specifications and an evaluation of same. Apparently they have fairies at the bottom of their garden as well as a money tree.

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

"see PCEHR specifications and an evaluation of same"

The rest of us would love to!

David.

Anonymous said...

How can we find those people whom you say could help us in the public sector?

You would probably need to get the Minister for Health to invite them to come forward and meet with her for a confidential chat.

Anonymous said...

Like anything here is confidential. Who is going to talk to the Health Minister (confidentially or otherwise)? The risk of being blackballed in the procurement process is just too high. To even be spotted walking into the Minister's office would run the risk of being stigmatised.

Anonymous said...

Last month I bumped into a guy I worked with [location removed to protect identity- David] and he's with one of the big consultancy firms. Although he now lives in Sydney, he told me that he spends most of his time working on projects elsewhere than Australia (and from reading this blog - most of them have been mentioned on here), and that he was seriously considering moving away from here as it was fairly pointless being here. I'd suggest he is exactly the sort of person our Minister should be talking to. Independent, experienced, credible. But no, instead he's talking about leaving. I'm sure there are many more like him!

Anonymous said...

Monday, February 14, 2011 8:32:00 AM said "To even be spotted walking into the Minister's office would run the risk of being stigmatised."

If what you say holds true then this sort of short sighted insecure paranoid attitude explains why the Minister gets shit advice from so many incompetents. If you are so inadequate the Minister would be better off not meeting with you.