Sunday, September 15, 2013

Another View On What Is Needed With The PCEHR. With The Planned Review We Need All Input Possible.

This appeared a few days ago.

Christian Rowan: E-health success

Monday, 9 September, 2013
AUSTRALIA’S experiment with the personally controlled electronic health record has had a bumpy start — the resignation of key clinical advisers from the National Electronic Health Transition Authority does not augur well for its future.
Hundreds of millions of dollars have already been spent on setting up and promoting the PCEHR. Perhaps it’s time to acknowledge that our precious electronic health dollars could have been better prioritised elsewhere.
There will be many reasons given for the disappointment of the PCEHR, which had failed to reach even its own modest target of 500 000 registrations by July 2013. However, in simple terms, the success of electronic and information technology (IT) projects, large or small, depends on leadership and clinical engagement.
Both have been lacking in the rollout of the PCEHR, as borne out by low participation by GPs and the inability of public hospital systems to integrate their records successfully.
IT in health care is an enabler which augments good clinical care — projects are likely to succeed when project teams follow the basic principles of good planning, effective clinical leadership and a commitment to stakeholder engagement.
There are several successful examples in the Australian health sector where these principles have been taken seriously, including two in Queensland — the new UnitingCare Health St Stephen’s Hospital at Hervey Bay and the new purpose-designed Health City precinct at Greater Springfield, south-west of Brisbane.
At the heart of both these initiatives are clinical leaders, health planners and administrators whose aim is to share information using digital technology and create synergies between primary, secondary and tertiary care.
…...
For the PCEHR to succeed we need to return to basics — get the planning right, ensure the project is led by clinicians, and don’t forget to engage the very people who will use the system: the doctors and their patients.
Dr Christian Rowan is the President of the AMA Queensland, an Associate Professor of Addiction Medicine and Public Health at the Centre for Medicine and Oral Health, Griffith University, Queensland, and Director of Medical Services at St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital, Brisbane.
The full article is here:
As I read this article I wondered what success was being discussed - having read the initial few paragraphs suggesting the PCEHR as not going well - but then realised as I read on that what the success was that was being discussed was not the PCEHR but a smaller and obviously much better run project. This paragraph lays it out pretty clearly:
“IT in health care is an enabler which augments good clinical care — projects are likely to succeed when project teams follow the basic principles of good planning, effective clinical leadership and a commitment to stakeholder engagement.
For mine this is absolutely spot on and unless these basics can be worked into the PCEHR program - and soon - my feeling is that success is very unlikely indeed and that we should not be throwing any ‘good money’ after bad.
I look forward to the commencement of the Government review. I hope submissions will be accepted.
David.

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