Tuesday, July 02, 2013
The Australian Medical Association Is Still Not Happy With The NEHRS / PCEHR.
This appeared a little while ago.
Steve Hambleton - President of AMA.
There is widespread support among the medical profession for electronic health initiatives that will make it easier to provide quality health care, especially in situations and locations where services are scarce or hard to access. But there are hurdles to overcome.
Most doctors support an e-health environment that provides the profession with reliable, key clinical information that can enhance their decision-making about the health care their patients require.
While doctors appreciate the potential benefits of e-health, it is difficult for private medical practices to establish a clear cost benefit, particularly general practices that will incur the greatest costs but derive the least direct benefit.
Participation in the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) has been made unnecessarily complex and difficult. For example, the PCEHR legislation and its participation requirements are complex and introduce new and significant obligations on medical practices.
There are substantial penalties for non-compliance with the complex legal requirements. Medical practices will have to devote substantial administrative and information technology resources to meet these new requirements.
In respect of secure messaging, which allows secure point-to-point transfer of patient information, there is also a level of complexity that will require most medical practices to buy in expert IT advice to install and configure SMD technology correctly.
The practical clinical value of the PCEHR has been compromised by its design. While the PCEHR could empower and encourage individuals to take responsibility for their own health, its usefulness for medical practitioners is limited by the accessibility, content and accuracy, and the comprehensiveness of the information it contains.
Health care of the patient is best served when the doctor has access to the most basic information that is critical to patient care – medications, allergies, hospital discharge summaries, and pathology and diagnostic imaging results. This is what the e-health agenda should be delivering.
Dr Hambleton then goes on to point out issues with Standards setting, clinical input and so it goes on.
Clearly the AMA is just fed up with the way all this is being done. Their attitude I would suggest is nothing to do with Luddite clinicians but much more to do with paternalistic ‘we know best’ out of touch bureaucrats who inhabit the halls of NEHTA and DoHA.
It is hard not to believe this program is doomed to be an expensive white elephant without dramatic, radical and clinically led change.
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Tuesday, July 02, 2013