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, April 02, 2013
No Wonder There Is A Mad Expensive And Potentially Privacy Violating Push On PCEHR Signups.
THREE Australians have been allowed to use a fake name to sign up for an electronic health record but even taking pseudonyms into account, the federal government will fall well short of its registration target.
Little-known provisions in the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record program allow people to register using another name for privacy reasons, for example, if they are taking extra precautions to avoid an abusive spouse or are worried their reputation will suffer if their health status becomes publicly known.
But in gaining the right to withhold their identity, the first three Australians to take up the provision for pseudonyms may have also lost the right to claim government benefits.
"You can seek and receive treatment using your pseudonymous Individual Healthcare Identifier, but you can only claim Medicare Benefit Scheme or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme payments using your name on your Medicare card," a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Ageing said.
The government had hoped to see 500,000 Australians with a PCEHR by July, but as of March 4 there were only 73,648 registrations, with 108 shared health summaries and 51 discharge summaries also uploaded to the system.
In February, an average of 705 eHealth records were accessed each day through the Consumer Portal, while healthcare providers had access 6147 times a day.
Opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton has already identified e-health as an area in which the Coalition would seek to deliver value for money.
Other interesting points follow in the rest of the article found here.
Medicare Local has infuriated GPs by suggesting they tell their patients there is “no cost” for creating shared e-health summaries for the Federal Government’s national e-health system.
The summaries — listing medications, diagnoses, adverse reactions and immunisation histories — are meant to form the backbone of the billion dollar PCEHR. But there has been furious debate over the plan when it emerged the government was providing no dedicated funding to GPs to either create or update the shared summaries.
Now Tasmania Medicare Local has enraged local doctors over a letter sent to practice staff last week which tells them how to handle questions from patients about the records.
The letter includes the line “How much does it cost?” and says practice staff should say: “There is no cost for creating an eHealth record.”
It adds: “Once registered for an eHealth record, doctors at this practice will be able to upload a summary of your visit”, failing to stress doctors are free to choose whether or not they want to create the summaries.
Findings from the PCEHR pilots last year suggest that it actually takes between five and 15 minutes to create the health summaries, depending on the complexity of the patient’s medical history.