Thursday, May 17, 2012

ABC Radio National Covers The Roll Out Of the NEHRS (PCEHR) and The Report Is Pretty Sceptical.

The following segment was heard on The World Today at around lunchtime.
12:18:00 17/05/2012
The Australian Medical Association says 'all singing, all dancing' patient controlled electronic health records won't be available, when the new system starts in July. The AMA's president Dr Steve Hambleton says he suspects most practices don't have the right software to use the system. The Government says it's already paid millions to help doctors upgrade their systems
 You can download the audio for the story from this link.
As always there will be a transcript available - probably by the time you read this.
This report seems to follow up on a couple of speeches at a conference made by the Health Minister and the AMA President. Here is a report of what went on.

E-health rollout likely to be slow: Labor

  • From: AAP
  • May 16, 2012 5:17PM
FEDERAL Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has admitted the take up of electronic health records will likely be slow in the first few years.
People can register to have an e-health record from July, however, doctors have long argued the opt-in system could prove problematic.
"There are only so many times doctors are going to stop and look to see if their patient has opted in and given them access to their personally-controlled electronic health record (PCEHR)," Australian Medica Association (AMA) president Steve Hambleton said.
"If doctors were to find most of their patients had a PCEHR they would be more likely to keep using the system."
Dr Hambleton and Ms Plibersek both addressed a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) health forum in Melbourne.
The minister used her speech to spruik the benefits of e-health, including a reduction in medication mix-ups and less duplication of clinical tests.
But Ms Plibersek said while the digital "foundations" would be ready by July 1 the e-health journey wouldn't be completed overnight.
"It's not just a matter of flicking a switch and away you go," she told the forum.
"We've always said the rollout of the national e-health system would be in gradual, carefully managed phases."
More here:
There is really nothing new in all this - rather we have final confirmation that come June 30 what we will actually have is a PCLES (Personally Controlled Largely Empty Shell)  and that the AMA is still of the view that the approach being adopted won’t do much for years - if ever.
It is worth noting that as far as foundations are concerned it is by no means clear they are finished either. Who I ask has obtained their NASH certificate and token to facilitate access to the system and who has received software from their provider to access the system?
Worse than all this just where is the roll-out plan that covers the period after June 30, 2012? It really is about time this information was public - it should have been months ago.
One really does wonder just why it is taking $476M + $35M up to June 30 to get to such an inconclusive outcome. I am sure the Senate Estimates Process will be seeking answers to just that question in a week or two.


Anonymous said...

Tania Plibersek's political speak when interpreted into the English language means:

… slow takeup in the first few years is because we have nothing working for anyone to use, we are unsure how to engage clinicians to use something that doesn’t work and we know clinicians don’t want to make a fool of themselves by encouraging patients to sign on to the PCEHR because that will be a signal to the patient to change doctors and find one who knows what he is talking about.

… a reduction in medication mix ups is necessary if we are to stop making patients sick and electronic prescriptions can fix that problem but my department tells me there are no systems available although they are working on designing one which could be available in a few years time.

Anonymous said...

.... and our biggest achievement has been all that has only cost 500 million dollars which is why we need to spend another 250 million dollars to give you more of the same.

Anonymous said...

There are some excellent proven medication management systems on Australia - e.g. Medchart

Anonymous said...

and now Victoria has scrapped HealthSmart - another 500 million up in smoke - although to be fair, at least some software was delivered to a few hospitals - I understand mainly PAS to replace very old systems. And now Qld seems to think that they can do something similar with a different result!

Terry Hannan said...

Is this another NFI Syndrome? No Flaming Idea. For anyone interested in how damn difficult this implementation business is readers of this site could go to (and participate) in the Implementers panel discussion on GHDOnline that is occurring at the present time.