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.
Sunday, February 09, 2014
The Symptoms Of Poor Governance In The E-Health Domain Just Keep Emerging. Really Needs To Be Fixed In The PCEHR Review.
There was a very interesting talk on the ABC’s Health Report last Monday,
Here is the home page of the talk with links (lasts about 8 mins).
Some would argue that the whole issue of privacy has been taken too far – denying health researchers and planners the kind of information they need to deliver the right care at the right time and at the right price to the community.
And while that information does not need to breach privacy – according to a leading public health researcher - it is being kept away from those who need it most.
John Glover : Director of the Public Health Information Development Unit, University of Adelaide
The essence of what was said was that for an unknown reason access to vital data-sets from Medicare which are used for examining health issue distribution and disease trends was being made progressively inaccessible to legitimate researchers for no apparent reason - the trend being odder as in the past there had been much easier access provided.
Additionally - because of years of experience with no privacy issues of any sort arising - there seems no obvious reason for problems.
Even worse there seems to be no effective external arbiter to make sure Medicare and DoH are behaving reasonably.
This is a really nice example of two things:
1. Just how unaccountable the bureaucrats can be.
2. How we lack proper information governance for health information and how it is used.
Interestingly I am also hearing of another example where lack of governance is really causing issues - and this is related to how drug information is sorted and presented to clinicians on their prescribing screens. Many experts say what is presently being done is unsafe but the bureaucrats are not listening and worse it seems that there is no one to appeal to (ombudsmen, regulators etc.) to get a proper technical review.
So now we are to have pharmacists upload health check data to the PCEHR and be charging $50 for a 30-minute consult! This has all the flavour of something (pushed by the Pharmacy Guild as a money spinner) that will never happen to me - but should it come to pass, the information governance, privacy and consent issues would be more than complicated
What is needed in all these cases is a proper e-Health governance entity with the skills and authorityto manage issues like this.
Maybe it might just come from the PCEHR Review or am I dreaming!