Tuesday, October 28, 2014
At Least One Blogger Suggests The Expert Vibes Are Suggesting It Is Time To Call Time On The PCEHR.
This post from Dr Edwin Kruys appeared last week.
Call me naive, but I was hoping that somewhere in Australia IT-people would be working day and night to fix the PCEHR, based on the abundant feedback from doctors and consumers. I had a rude awakening when I read this article in Australian Doctor Magazine: PCEHR: Patients may see test results before GP.
Sorry? Diagnostic imaging & pathology results may be uploaded to someone’s eHealth record, before they have been reviewed by or discussed with the requesting doctor? This doesn’t sound like an improvement. Worse, it flies in the face of the 2014 PCEHR review recommendations to make the system ‘more usable, and able to deliver meaningful use.’
So where are we at with the PCEHR? I asked four leaders in the field about their thoughts: Has it been a success or a failure? Can it still be improved and if so, how?
Dr Frank Jones, President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners: “The concept was always good, but it failed to engage with front line medical professionals and was hijacked by lawyers. I am also really unhappy with the government’s plan to upload results if not viewed by the requesting doctor after seven days – a disastrous situation!”
“The other thing that is never talked about and that people outside GP-land are unaware of, is that GPs can already access their practice patients’ notes, anywhere, anytime. GPs leading the way again – in many ways this has diminished the value of a PCEHR at a front line GP level.”
“Lets get the basics right first: Initially we need the information such as active relevant medical issues, allergies and OTD medications.”
Dr Brian Morton, Chair of the AMA Council of General Practice: “In its present form as a GP I would have to say it’s a failure. There is no recognition nor remuneration for GPs to spend the time to prepare and submit the data which must be done with the patient present. Professional clinical input to the design process has not been given the status needed to make PCEHR workable and relevant to medical practice.”
“Privacy and consumer political correctness have over-ridden safe principles of health care. The very poor uptake of the PCEHR is evidence of this. If we are to reap the benefits then recognition of the cost of data entry needs to be made.”
“Remove and prevent data which is not clinically relevant for care, for example Medicare billing data, as medical assumptions cannot be safely made based on a billing event. Identify clearly in the record that data has been removed or data hidden; the ability to over-ride the control of this is inadequate for safe care. Start the use of PCEHR with small and focused data entry such as active medical history.”
“Make a Medicare item number for the initial entry of data and an item for review yearly by the patient’s usual GP. Enable the functionality of automatic loading of diagnostic imaging & pathology data to the PCEHR when it is received and reviewed by the requesting provider. For example in our software: when it is transferred from inbox to patient record.”
----- (My comments omitted! All readers would know what I would say
Dr David Glance, Director Centre for Software Practice, University of Western Australia: “I would say that the PCEHR is effectively dead – there is some interesting commentary here. The liberal government has not killed it but they haven’t supported it actively either. Nor have they put forward any other strategy. So given the financial climate we are in now, I don’t expect that to change.”
“I fundamentally believe that Australia has a basic structural issue when it comes to implementing central strategies around eHealth. We are still lagging in electronic record adoption in our hospitals and public health services and to a lesser extent within the specialist community. Until that changes, any shared electronic health record will always have gaps and be less than useful.”
“Clearly NEHTA needs to be disbanded and something else put in its place. It was self-serving, bureaucratic and pretty hopeless when it came down to it.”
“With regard to opt-in/opt-out, I would say that opt-out is always a better option with a far easier access mechanism than was implemented for the PCEHR. But given how awful the implementation was, the point was moot. Talking of the implementation, given what we know about user interface, you would have thought that the interface to the PCEHR could have been a lot better than it was.”
Read the full post here:
Seems the academics and the docs are not impressed!
I hope those doing the Audit of NEHTA read closely!
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Tuesday, October 28, 2014