This blog is totally independent and has only three major objectives.
The first is to inform readers of news and happenings in the e-Health domain, both here in Australia and world-wide.
The second is to provide commentary on e-Health in Australia and to foster improvement where I can.
The third is to encourage discussion of the matters raised in the blog so hopefully readers can get a balanced view of what is really happening and what successes are being achieved.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
It Looks Like One Of the Key PCEHR Targets Will Be Hard To Hit. The PCEHR Is Just A Very Poorly Conceived Idea.
It has been a long standing claim that the PCEHR was to initially be an initiative to focus on those in most need which was said to be those with chronic disease, the elderly, aboriginal populations and mothers and babies.
It must be rather annoying then for the designers of the PCEHR to realise they have seriously missed the mark. For the PCEHR to be valuable and widely used it needs clients who will value what it has to offer. If you don’t know how to sensibly use a computer and you don’t know the risks associated with incorrect use then much of that benefit might be lost.
In this context we see this report of NEHTA’s attendance at a recent hearing.
NEHTA is taking steps to reassure government and health industry stakeholders that it is comprehensively addressing a range of ehealth privacy and security concerns.
Industry groups including AusCERT have questioned the efficacy of the ehealth agency’s standards and technologies for protecting the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR).
Two senior NEHTA executives will today front a Senate Committee hearing into cyber safety, which chief executive Peter Fleming described as part of the organisation’s ongoing engagement with government on the issue. Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, NEHTA clinical lead, and David Bunker NEHTA’s head of architecture, will make presentations at the inquiry.
Mr Fleming said NEHTA was working hard to meet the July 1 deadline when consumers will be able to register for the PCEHR. “We’ve been working flat out with DoHA, the jurisdictions and the states to deliver on the 1st of July promise and deliver a good quality system,” he said.
The suitability and accessibility of the Federal Government’s Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) system for the elderly has been brought into question by a Senate committee investigating cyber safety for senior Australians.
The committee voiced concerns to the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) — the body charged with the rollout of the PCEHR — around just how “senior-friendly” and easy to use the system would be for the demographic.
“We are working with the relevant stakeholders to ensure it is a system that will meet their needs and provide them with a level of confidence that their personal information is safe and secure,” NEHTA head of architecture, David Bunker, said.
“I wouldn’t single it out as being elderly friendly. I think we need to accept that there is a range of sophistication, maturity and literacy around the use of technology and the system, to be safe, secure and easy to use, has to allow for that.
“I think the best way to address that is to say in terms on developing education materials, there is support for those things and the nature of that material has to be directed to a varying level of computer literacy.
Improving cyber safety education of senior citizens through more targeted programs would greatly improve their confidence and get more elderly Australians online, according to an Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) submission to a Senate committee investigating cyber safety for senior Australians.
Speaking at the Senate hearing in Sydney, ACMA digital economy division general manager, Andrea Wright, said that most cyber safety programs are aimed at young people and the Authority is trying to change this.
During Safer Internet Day in 2012, for example, ACMA targeted grandparents with face-to-face presentations across Australia.
“We provided a list of questions to seniors that they might ask their grandchildren so they could get online and learn how to use social networking sites,” Wright said.
The bottom line here is that for the PCEHR to be a success it needs to be fully usable and properly understood by its target demographic. Sadly that little detail just seems to have gone through to the keeper as they say.
The simple fact is that the PCEHR is a wrongly directed and ill-conceived investment in a bad idea. Investment in providers systems and provider messaging was what was needed first and only with this really working do you move to access to live systems for those who want to and can use such access.
This is just another reason we will see such limited penetration in the target demographic along with a lack of useful functionality and so on!