- Fran Foo
- The Australian
- September 24, 2013
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
E-Health Professionals And Consumer Groups Express Concern Regarding Outcomes Of The Planned PCEHR Review.
The following appeared last week.
HEALTH Minister Peter Dutton has moved swiftly to initiate a review of the troubled $1 billion personally controlled e-health record system at the behest of Tony Abbott.
Mr Dutton has received initial briefings on the PCEHR from key stakeholders such as the Department of Health.
The Coalition will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the true status of the PCEHR implementation as outlined in its health policy released in the lead up to the election.
"In government, the Coalition implemented successful incentives to computerise general practice and will continue to provide strong in-principle support for a shared electronic health record for patients," the policy says.
"The Coalition will again work with health professions and industry to prioritise implementation following a full assessment of the current situation."
A spokeswoman for Mr Dutton declined to say who was expected to lead the review or how long it would take.
"We all support an electronic health record," she said.
"However, we have grave concerns about the amount of money the previous government spent on e-health for very little outcome to date.
"At a cost of around $1bn, we should have a lot more to show for it."
In opposition, Mr Dutton and others criticised the PCEHR's performance, saying that while more than 650,000 people had registered for an e-health record, only 4000-plus shared health summaries were created.
The summaries are generated by a patient's GP and contain diagnoses, allergies and medications.
The spokeswoman declined to say if Deloitte's refresh of the 2008 national e-health strategy had begun.
Medical Software Industry Association president Jenny O'Neill said her organisation was "very willing to assist the new Health Minister in a review and planning for a sustainable (e-health) future".
"In a recent Q&A program on the ABC, former health minister Tanya Plibersek equated a $1.5bn investment by government as a 'rounding error'," Ms O'Neill said.
"Had her department invested this 'rounding error' in the e-health sector by strengthening the electronic bridges between all the parties, Australia would have achieved major and sustainable transformational change in this timeframe. If all the important infrastructure supporting current data transfer had been strengthened and upgraded with the latest technologies, national security and safety standards would now exist."
She said the PCEHR was "a much advertised national system which is next to empty".
"Each transaction in this national system has to be routed through a national repository," Ms O'Neill said.
"It is like building a fast train system between the cities and towns of Australia and requiring every trip to go via Canberra."
She said taxpayers could not afford rounding errors in e-health.
Lots more here covering the consumers, pharmacy guild and a rather confused CIO of the now DoH.:
It strikes me the comments of the former health minister explain why Labor lost Government - seeing $1B + on the PCEHR as a ‘rounding error’ betokens an attitude to the spending of tax money of extreme profligacy.
Ms O’Neill also catches the point many others miss - the fundamental architectural design error that at, at least in my view, dooms the entire program.
The full article is well worth a careful read as those outside DoH clearly know more about what is needed with the PCEHR than those who designed and are ‘managing’ it.
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Tuesday, October 01, 2013