Wednesday, September 14, 2011

There Is Some Really Flawed Logic Here. We Don’t Have To Have A Second Rate PCEHR. Think About It!

The following article appeared today.

E-health blueprint needs 'fine tuning': Industry

The finalised Concept of Operations document still lacks answers to all the issues raised by the RACGP, according to the organisation
The Federal Government’s finalised Concept of Operations on its $466.7 million Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) project still needs “fine tuning”, according to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
The document (PDF), released earlier this week, finalised details put forward in the draft report issued in April this year.
RACGP National Standing Committee on e-health chairperson, Dr John Bennett, said despite the document failing to address all the issues previously raised by the college, it was important that stakeholders “join forces” to ensure the rollout is completed by July 2012.
 “The RACGP is pleased that the final plan for the PCEHR has been released and whilst not all our previously raised issues have been addressed, it is important that Australia gets underway with the implementation of the PCEHR,” Bennet said in a statement.
“The Government’s final PCEHR plan has taken on board most of the RACGP’s concerns that were in our response to the draft plan, including our recommendation that emergency access will be provided to the full record where required, and that this is supported by a full audit trail so patients can see who has accessed their record.”
However the college did raise concerns that the current plan still lacks any incentives for GPs and urged the government to consider how the extra effort required by GPs will be acknowledged.
“We would like to see amendments to the Medicare Benefits Schedule to recognise the additional workload GPs will undertake in consultations initiating and maintaining the patient’s shared health summary and other elements of the PCEHR.”
More here:
The problems with this comment - “it was important that stakeholders “join forces” to ensure the rollout is completed by July 2012” are at least threefold.
First we know for certain the PCEHR system will be in no way finished or complete by 2012.
Second why would a leading clinical college say well this is really much less than we wanted but we will just wear it. I am sure that is hardly the leadership their members are hoping for from the RACGP. I wonder how much of the RACGP’s acquiescence is because of the sponsorship relationship between NEHTA and the College.
Third just why should a learned college accept a deeply second best:
In their submission they said there were issues in the following areas:

2. Key issues

The RACGP would like to focus our response on the following aspects of the PCEHR Concept of Operations:
1. Data quality
2. Role of the nominated provider
3. Workload for general practices
4. Privacy and confidentiality
5. Terminology used within the PCEHR
6. Complexity of the PCEHR design
7. Change and adoption/support
8. Funding
It is clear the College is just one of many stakeholders who have not seen even the majority of their issues addressed - data quality is a real biggie they can’t be at all happy with!
Just why we all have to have a system with so many flaws just eludes me and to say ‘it’s not much good but we have to go with it” is just nonsense.
Mad stuff!

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