A few articles appeared in the last few days impinging on GP attitudes to the resourcing of E-Health.
First we had:
GP NSW CEO says much effort will be required to train and support GPs to deal with e-health changes
- Chloe Herrick (Computerworld)
- 07 April, 2011 16:19
The chief executive of General Practice NSW has warned both State and Federal Governments that GPs are lacking the resources to deal with the country’s e-health agenda, including the $467 million personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) program.
Addressing attendees at the annual e-health forum for divisions of General Practice NSW, CEO Jan Newland, said extensive effort would be required to train and support GPs to deal with the expected e-health changes.
“Greater support is needed to provide infrastructure and support in primary care,” she said. “General practices are essentially small to medium businesses which are already under significant pressure to meet quality and regulatory requirements. Practices will not be able to meet the expected pace of change without assistance and possible additional support for security upgrades and infrastructure.”
According to Newland, GPs should look to sharing resources, learning and support in new e-health initiatives, and advised divisions transitioning to Medicare Locals that there would be an increased need for population health data management within the new organisations.
“Medicare Locals will also be required to engage in the e-health agenda by participating in early stage rollout of initiatives such as the Patient Held Electronic Health care Record (PHEHCR),” she said. “There will be a need to support practices in the implementation and use of the PHEHCR in a way which meets the expectations and pace of consumers.”
At the same time we had alignment between GP organisations happening to try and cope:
- By Gemma Collins on 4 April 2011
The Royal Australian College of GPs and the AGPN have announced they are “united” on e-health as they work together on the rollout of the IT reform.
The RACGP and AGPN say the collaboration will guarantee a “smooth transition” to e-health across primary care and help with the implementation of the personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR).
“The RACGP and AGPN are in a position to strategically design the quality of work expected within the e-health agenda,” AGPN Chair Dr Emil Djakic says.
“And by collaborating on the design, implementation and management of e-health programs we can minimise duplication of resources and services.
In parallel we also had this:
- By Michael Woodhead on 6 April 2011
Patients will be able to start building their own Personally-Controlled E-Health Record (PCEHR) from July 2012, the head of the Federal health department Jane Halton has announced.
Speaking at an AMA-hosted session on e-health in Sydney this week, Ms Halton said patients would have the chance to register and ‘opt-in’ to the system from the middle of next year, although it would be a work in progress with an “incremental rollout”.
She said the system would comprise of a GP-curated summary health record, an event record and a record on which information could be added and amended by the patient.
What we have is a perfect storm of additional work being imposed on the GP and not a single mention of just how they will be funded and supported to get all this done!
There seems to be only minimal recognition that the implementation of the PCEHR, if it ever actually happens, is not happening for altruistic reasons but because there are population benefits and cost benefits to the public purse if it can be achieved.
Sharing the cost between Government and the providers will be the only way it can come about I believe - being - I hope - a hard headed realist. Just think of the billions the US Government is throwing at a similar issue in the US.
If the Government thinks GPs are going to ‘curate summary records’ without an item number to cover the cost of their time - they are dreaming. Pharmacists are demanding $0.15 cents to accept electronic prescriptions - and this has been agreed - so there will need to be some similar accommodation with the docs and this additional work!