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.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
It Looks To Me Like Those Operating The NEHRS Are Not Very Good At Their Job. Additionally No One Is Using It.
This very revealing article popped up today in The Australian.
THE Gillard government's personally controlled e-health record system is facing more bumps in its rollout following frequent disruption to its software vendor testing environment.
In the past seven months, only five vendors have passed the requirements for their software to be connected to the live e-health production platform. There are more than 250 software vendors who need their 300-400 products certified for the PCEHR.
The PCEHR is intended to be a secure electronic summary of people's medical history that is stored and shared in a "network of connected systems".
Software used by hospitals, GPs, allied health professionals, dentists and radiologists is often custom-made and needs to be compliant with the web-based national PCEHR system.
The longer it takes to test the systems, the longer it will take to roll out the software to hospitals, GPs and others who need to use it.
Sources close to the e-health project told The Australian the test environment had been going offline two to three times a week. This included planned and unplanned outages. The Department of Health and Ageing declined to comment on the outage frequency.
However, a spokeswoman said: "Obviously the test environment exists so things can be trialled before going live in the main system. That's the normal way IT systems like this operate the world over."
As recently as last Tuesday, the test system was offline for nine hours, but the spokeswoman said the test environment was stable.
She declined to provide reasons for unplanned outages.
The test environment had been available to software vendors since April this year, she said, adding that unavailability of the test environment had no impact on the live system.
"Software vendors are not permitted to connect to the (live) production system without passing testing in the software vendor test environment," the spokeswoman said.
"The test environment has absolutely no impact on the access to or functionality of the main system -- that is, patient and doctor use of the main system is not affected at all."
She declined to say how many times the test platform had been offline since it became available.
Meanwhile, 19,617 people had registered for an e-health record, the spokeswoman said.
Looks like the system is unstable and no one much is using it. Worse those who have to use the test environment are being messed about.
As for clinical use this paragraph says it all.
“As of last Thursday there were 16 shared health summaries and one discharge summary uploaded into the PCEHR, the spokeswoman confirmed.”
Amusingly in a separate article we discover the geniuses who are running the program are so worried people might be alarmed about how things are being done that they have blocked the management minutes from FOI. This really shows they have something to hide! See here for article: