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.
Wednesday, June 01, 2016
The Northern Territory Aims To Make A Big Difference With A New E-Health Approach. I Hope They Are Sensible And Ignore NEHTA in The First Instance.
Minister for Corporate and Information Services Peter Styles said the program to upgrade the existing core clinical information systems will be the “largest ICT reform ever undertaken” in the Territory.
“For the first time clinicians will be able to electronically access patient records from any public health care facility, anywhere in the Territory,” he said.
The e-health program will replace four existing clinical information systems with a single end-to-end clinical information system at the point of care for all public health facilities, including all NT public hospitals and more then 50 health clinics.
“It will improve efficiency, eliminate outdated, manual systems of patient support and ultimately improve health outcomes,” Styles said.
John Elferink, Minister for Health, said the NT Government has set out to revolutionise healthcare delivery in the Territory by modernising the “outdated” ICT system to ensure correct information on patients is available at the point of treatment.
“The program will transform our public health care network meaning clinicians will no longer need to re-assess a patient’s history each time they visit a Territory public health service,” Elferink said.
He added that immediate access to patient records will improve the delivery of healthcare in the Territory through reduced readmissions, reduced emergency department waiting times and improved patient safety.
The announcement extends the Country Liberal Government’s commitment to set the standard in core clinical health and follows the development and implementation of innovative health solutions such as Telehealth.
The NT government has committed $186 million to the replacement of four of its critical clinical systems with a single, integrated patient information database that will be accessible in real-time from any one of the territory’s hospitals or medical centres.
The core clinical systems renewal program will take five years to complete and represents a comprehensive overhaul of the health system’s operational IT environment.
It will deliver the NT’s doctors and clinicians a single view of a patient, integrating data that is currently stored in four different systems - CareSys, the clinical workstation system, the primary care information system, and the community care information system.
Changes to a record made anywhere in the state will be updated and appear in the system in real-time.
The NT’s Minister for Corporate and Information Services described the CCSRP as the largest IT reform ever undertaken in the territory.
“It will improve efficiency, eliminate outdated, manual systems of patient support and ultimately improve health outcomes,” he said.
The establishment of a single, integrated source of truth on a patient’s medical history is expected to be particularly transformative for the NT’s 50 medical centres, many of which serve regional and remote communities.
Health Minister John Elfrenik said the program ”will transform our public healthcare network meaning clinicians will no longer need to re-assess a patient’s history each time they visit a territory public health service".
When I first read all this I was encouraged that the plan was to create a system designed to optimally support clinicians in caring for a mobile and complex population in an integrated way. However reading the market Brief one notices all of the NEHTA specifications which seem to be what is being requested.
Were it me, I would just ignore all that work - develop a proper requirements specification and go to the market for a system that will efficiently meet the clinical needs. I seriously doubt there is anything out there that meets all these baseline requirements and without testing the market functionally the NT might wind up with a real lemon.
Bottom like the NT should decide what it needs functionally for its clinicians and move on from there - not move from the basis of what terminology and display standards are used (many of which are not proven in implementation).
This program has a very long way to go and watching progress will be fascinating!