Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Is This The First Leak On The Outcome Of The PCEHR Review? I Wonder.

This appeared today in the AFR.

eHealth scheme considered for cuts

Joanna Heath
The Abbott government is considering ­publishing a review into the previous government’s eHealth scheme before the budget, prompting speculation the $1 billion program is in line for cuts.
Health Minister Peter Dutton has previously signalled his opposition to the scheme, which allows patients to opt-in to a personal electronic record of their medical history, calling the rollout under Labor a “scandal”.
The government was handed the results of the review in January this year, with its authors left in the dark about a release date. Freedom of information requests to obtain the report have been refused.
“We thought it was going to be mid-January, then mid-February, then April,” said panel member and Australian Medical Association ­president Steve Hambleton.
“eHealth is really on hold at the moment in Australia . . . everything is waiting on clarification as to the direction.”
The report is understood to ­recommend the eHealth system be retained but with changes made to its operation. Mr Dutton was ­unavailable for comment on ­Monday. After a slow start in uptake criticised by Mr Dutton, 1.5 million Australians were signed up for ­personal eHealth records by April 9.
More here:
This would seem to support the conclusion that eHealth may survive but not in its present form as suggested in yesterday’s blog here:
What do you think?


Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

re "The report is understood to ­recommend the eHealth system be retained but with changes made to its operation."

I hope this is not a true reflection of the report. It's not the operation of the PCEHR that's the problem, it's the lack of understanding and better management of health information.

There's an old saying - it takes cleverer people to get out of a mess than those who got into it in the first place.

If the cast of characters who are charged with "improving" the system are the same lot as those who acquired and implemented it, then we may as well just resign ourselves to glacial progress in ehealth for at least a decade.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

This is worth a read:
Avoiding hospitals and doctors the best cure for healthcare woes


This is an argument for full scale health reform. At its heart, health reform means better ways of doing things facilitated, at least in part, by improved access to, and use of health information.

And before someone in NEHTA or DOH says "that's what the PCEHR is all about", I say that the PCEHR is a badly thought through, technology dinosaur that entrenches existing practices and is an impediment to genuine reform.

K said...

"entrenches existing practices and is an impediment to genuine reform"

Some aspects of the PCEHR are being blocked because they represent real reform, and some are an impediment to reform because they represent status quo - it depends on which stakeholder group won which argument.

The system as a whole is an impediment to real reform. The PCEHR is just a mirror of the whole thing.