Tuesday, August 16, 2011

For The Record -The Official PCEHR Infrastructure Partner And Some Commentary.

The following press release came up yesterday - and is provided so provide clarity as to what is being provided in 10 and a half months from now.

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/mr-yr11-nr-nr151.htm

Accenture to Build Australia’s Personal e-Health System

Accenture, a world leader in IT, has been selected to lead the building of the IT infrastructure for Australia’s national personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) system in another major milestone for national health reform.

15 August 2011

Accenture, a world leader in IT, has been selected to lead the building of the IT infrastructure for Australia’s national personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) system in another major milestone for national health reform.

“A consortium led by Accenture has been selected as the National Infrastructure Partner for the development of the PCEHR system,” Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said.

“Accenture will be responsible for designing and building the physical PCEHR system, which will be used by people to register for and view their e-health record.

“People will also use this system to allow their GP and other health professionals to view their record, helping to make sure their records are available whenever and wherever they are needed.

“Health professionals will use the system to view their patients’ e-health record, which over time will include information such as health summaries and discharge summaries. Health professionals will also be able to update this record with the most critical and up to date medical information to deliver safe and efficient healthcare.

“Accenture’s track record in the successful delivery of Singapore’s national electronic health record earlier this year was an important factor in their selection during the highly competitive independent tender process with applicants from around the world.”

Minister Roxon said Accenture will provide leadership to a consortium of companies, which also includes Orion Health and Oracle and will play a critical role in developing the PCEHR, including:

  • developing internet portals so people can view their personally controlled e-health record, control access and enter their own medical information
  • developing a portal to allow health care providers, when given access by the patient, to view and update a patient’s record
  • providing for an audit trail that will show when and by whom a person’s record was accessed
  • providing a reporting capability for critical information about the PCEHR system itself, including performance and usage.

“A key responsibility of the National Infrastructure Partner will be to ensure that the PCEHR system has high availability, including in a medical emergency, and that it works efficiently and securely for patients and providers alike,” Minister Roxon said.

“Personal, secure electronic health records are a critical part of the Gillard Government’s national health reform. They will drive improvements over time to the way people engage with our health and hospitals system – making it better coordinated and more efficient and effective.”

The National Infrastructure Partner, under the instruction and oversight of the Commonwealth Government, will ensure stringent protections are in place to safeguard the privacy of patient records. The infrastructure built will be the property of the Commonwealth.

Here is a link to the original Statement of Requirement so we can all see what was actually asked for.

http://moreassoc.com.au/downloads/Part%202%20-%20NIP%20-%20Statement%20of%20Requirement.pdf

This provides a lot more details on the costs which were not discussed above.

Accenture leads build on Roxon record system

THE Accenture-led team delivering Singapore's e-health record system will build the Gillard government's health records infrastructure, with contracts worth $77 million announced yesterday.

The consortium includes Oracle and Orion Health, while Accenture's local cloud computing partner, Telstra, will provide secure infrastructure as a service.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon said Accenture would receive $47.8m to develop the personally controlled e-health record system.

The department will also pay $17.8m to Oracle in licence fees for access to e-health records stored within all PCEHR repositories, and $11m in fees to Orion for operating a portal.

"Accenture's track record in the delivery of Singapore's national e-health record earlier this year was an important factor in their selection," she said.

"It was a highly competitive, independent tender process with applicants from around the world."

The Singaporean project cost $140m to deliver records for five million citizens.

Ms Roxon has said that by July 1 next year every Australian who wants one will have access to a personal e-health record.

With a very tight timeframe, it appears the project will be recast in the Singaporean mould, using already developed functionality rather than starting from scratch.

In June, Singapore's Ministry of Health announced the go-live of the first phase of its "one patient, one record" vision, 10 months after deployment began. However, Australia's unique consumer-controlled approach will involve modifications. Ms Roxon said Accenture, "under the instruction and oversight of the government", would ensure stringent protections were in place.

"Accenture will design and build the physical PCEHR system, which will be used by people to register for and view their e-health record," she said.

"The infrastructure will be the property of the commonwealth.

Many more details here:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/accenture-leads-build-on-roxon-record-system/story-e6frgakx-1226115493904

I have to say I am quite interested to know what the remaining $200 million or so of the initial $466.7 M is to be spent on - or has it already been spent? Hard to know.

It is interesting to note that the Minister’s statement now only refers to the development of two portals and that ‘over time’ there will be various pieces of information to be viewed and shared with the consumer’s health provider.

I do seem to sense a little scope contraction going on here. It is still not at all clear just why providers would interrupt their usual workflow to look up this portal - given its rather limited contents - to say nothing of the more obvious question of just who the PCEHR is actually for and why people would bother to use it.

As far as I am concerned this just seems to be getting sillier and sillier. What we now have is unseemly haste to implement a slightly tweaked set of systems which were designed to be used by healthcare providers for their use and provider to provider communication to be pressed into service and used by consumers. We all know how well software designed to solve one problem works when attempting to solve a different - and ill defined - problem.

Of course all the Standards used will not be the NEHTA ones, but whatever is easiest and quickest for Accenture and partners, so there may just have been a fair bit of wasted time with all this work. We will all see pretty soon!

David.

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