Tuesday, March 31, 2015

It Is Good To See NSW Health Investing More In E-Health. I Wonder How Much Is Actually New Money?

Just before the election we had some e-Health announcements from the State Health Minister (Ms Skinner)
Here are two reports of a press conference on Thursday.
  • Mar 26 2015 at 12:29 PM

Baird government pledges $300 million for NSW e-health


New South Wales Health Minister Jillian Skinner has said the Coalition will invest $300 million in electronic health initiatives over the next four years if it is returned to office in Saturday's election.
Mrs Skinner said the upgrades would include work to upgrading its electronic medical records system by adding voice recognition capacity, and widely rolling out an electronic medications management system, which helps NSW Health store information more efficiently and safely.  
She said the Baird government had made a record investment in information technology during its first term. It had funded new technologies across the state's 15 local health districts and two speciality networks, with new clinical systems, including HealtheNet, which connects hospitals, GPs and community health providers; electronic medications management and electronic medical records.
A trial of the electronic medications management system at Concord Hospital had already demonstrated a 66 per cent reduction in prescribing errors and a 44 per cent reduction in serious prescribing errors.
"To deliver an efficient, integrated health system, we must adopt the latest technologies," Mrs Skinner said. "For patients this means safer, higher quality, more efficient and better coordinated health care; for staff, this means greater productivity and contemporary resources.
"The days of paper records being lugged around and physically transferred from treating-doctor to doctor will soon be behind us."
More here:
There is more coverage here:

Baird govt pledges AU$300m for e-health if re-elected

Summary: The NSW Liberal government has pledged to spend AU$300 million on the state's e-health initiatives over the next four years if it is re-elected for another term on Saturday's election.
By Leon Spencer |
New South Wales Minister for Health Jillian Skinner has said that the state's Liberal government will invest AU$300 million over the next four years on electronic health initiatives if it is re-elected for another term in the polls on Saturday.
Skinner announced the pledge on Thursday, saying that a re-elected Baird government would continue to modernise the state's health system through further e-health investments.
"To deliver an efficient, integrated health system, we must adopt the latest technologies," said Skinner. "For patients, this means safer, higher-quality, more efficient, and better coordinated health care. For staff, this means greater productivity and contemporary resources."
Skinner said that if re-elected, the state Liberal government would continue funding existing programs being rolled out, and commit new funding to a range of initiatives. This includes AU$48 million to expand the Rural eHealth Program, which provides a mix of infrastructure and clinical programs that support the rollout of eHealth across rural and remote areas.
It will also invest AU$4 million to roll out an additional 100 telehealth sites, adding to the 1,000 sites already in operation across rural and regional areas, and AU$4.9 million to roll out HealtheNet to a further 11 Local Health Districts.
Additionally, Skinner said the government would pump AU$3.5 million into enhancements in the Hospital in the Home provision in rural areas through new eHealth initiatives, and develop a new NSW Health eHealth Strategic Plan: Enabling eHealth 2021 to provide a "clear direction for future IT investment and e-health programs"
More here:
The press release that prompted these articles is found here:
What the actual release makes clear is that the new money is this:
“If re-elected for another four years, the Baird Government will continue existing program roll-outs and commit new funding, including:
-$48 million to expand Rural eHealth which provides a mix of infrastructure and clinical programs that support the roll out of eHealth across rural and remote areas;
– $4 million to rollout an additional 100 Telehealth sites, adding to the 1000 sites already in operation across rural and regional areas.
– $4.9 million to rollout HealtheNet to a further 11 Local Health Districts. HealtheNet benefits patients and clinicians by providing NSW Health clinicians with access to a consolidated view of a patient’s clinical information from across NSW Health and a patient’s National eHealth Record (NeHR) via the NSW Clinical Portal.
– $3.5 million enhancement to Hospital in the Home in rural areas through new eHealth initiatives. Hospital in the Home (HITH) services deliver selected types of patient-centred care to suitable patients at their home or clinic as an alternative to hospital care. This will provide community nurses with laptops and mobile devices, and in-home monitoring devices for patients.
– Develop a new NSW Health eHealth Strategic Plan: Enabling eHealth 2021 to provide a clear direction for future ICT investment and eHealth programs.”
So it looks like only about $61M is new and that most of that is going to the country! At least the older funding will also continue. Better than nothing for sure!
It is good that the release is clear - and that the headline $300M is properly explained.
Anyone see any Statewide analysis of the benefits provided by the investments to date?
David.

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