- The Australian
- 12:00AM October 25, 2016
Sunday, October 30, 2016
It Seems The Pharmacists Are Not All That Keen On The myHR – What A Surprise!
This appeared a few days ago.
25 October, 2016
The government’s $1 billion e-health record system could be heading for white-elephant status in community pharmacy – with fewer than 5% using it in any given week.
Only about 1250 pharmacies are registered for the system, previously known as PEHCR and now called My Health Record. And only 20% of these view or upload information in any seven-day period, according to the department of health.
It says that once fully rolled out, the system will enable automatic uploading of dispensing information to a patient’s e-record. Pharmacists will be able to view a patient’s medical history – including shared health summaries and hospital discharge documents.
This would improve efficiency and reduce the risk of medicines misadventure, says the health department. But it admits that only 45% of pharmacies have software that’s compatible with the system.
The Pharmacy Guild is not opposed to the system, but its King Review submission suggests that the government pays pharmacies to participate.
Currently only general practice is incentivised to use the system.
Kos Sclavos, the Guild’s Queensland vice president, says: “Doctors are getting paid, and pharmacists are saying why should we do anything? We’re not getting paid.
“There needs to be some consistency across the health professions, if they (the government) see pharmacy playing a role,” says Mr Sclavos, who was part of the original consultation group on the system.
He says participation costs pharmacies time, money and effort, and many resent the expectation they will do it for free.
He says pharmacy banner groups are discouraging members from participation until the issue of payments is sorted out, something which they deny.
Terry White Chemists has a policy of neither encouraging nor discouraging participation.
Spokesman Jeff McEvoy says that without payments it would be “very hard” to promote.
“We fully support the Guild’s stance on funding,” he says.
“No one can expect someone to do more for less.”
Health informatics experts say it would make sense to pay pharmacists to use the system if it was working, but it’s a moot point because it is not.
Dr David Glance, director of University of West Australia’s Centre for Software Practice, says despite hefty investment the system has “failed since its inception” and does not enjoy support from GPs or patients.
This is all a little confusing I must say. Readers will recall that there are two electronic prescription exchanges (Medisecure and eRX) that have been operational for a few years and which, if used, create a record that goes to the myHR.
There is heaps of information here:
Under the 5th and 6th Pharmacy Agreements there is funding for scanning printed e-prescriptions that is paid to pharmacists and the ePIP incentives are linked to e-Prescribing as well.
Additionally we have automatic feeds of e-prescription information to the myHR where an e-prescription is used.
So it rather seems we have the situation where heaps of information is flowing into the myHR from the PBS System and the e-Prescribing systems but that it is partial and incomplete, and of little apparent use.
Yet again it seems to e-Health ecosystem, centred around the myHR is not seemingly delivering as it was intended.
I wonder might the ADHA stand back for a moment – and map out the e-Health information flows and work out where value can actually be found – and work those conclusions into the planned new National E-Health Strategy.
There have been all sorts of new actors emerge in the private sector that will eventually need to be recognised and integrated practically and functionally for the benefit of patients and clinicians. One recent announcement is here – and it is just one of many:
Seek chief executive Andrew Bassat and former Telstra CEO and now CSIRO chairman David Thodey have taken strategic stakes in a Melbourne health technology company allowing corporations, doctors and insurers to share medical records online.
Unified Healthcare Group, whose “medEbridge’’ online platform is used to send requests for medical reports and files from insurers to doctors, is now preparing to launch a multi-million-dollar capital raising to bankroll its growth plans after securing the support of Mr Bassat and Mr Thodey.
In June the company secured the exclusive support from the Royal Australian College of GPs for the exchange of health information from GPs to businesses and government agencies.
“The support of the RACGP, the peak body representing the 30,000-plus GPs, is very important for UHG to achieve its objectives to improve the interactions between businesses and healthcare providers,’’ said UHG chief executive Brandon Carp.
“We are confident with our strategy and vision to be the go-to platform connecting businesses and healthcare providers.
“And to accelerate the growth we will be raising a multi-million-dollar sum to drive increased sales into new business sectors, expand the healthcare provider marketplace and potential bolt-on acquisitions.” An information memorandum for the issue will be distributed to potential investors in the coming months.
“This is a classic two-sided marketplace, the more traction you have with healthcare providers, the more opportunities there are with businesses and vice versa. There is a real network effect that operates here,” Dr Carp said.
The need for a rational well-thought out and well consulted strategy could not be greater – before we wind up with an ill co-ordinated and overlapping collection of only partially useful systems.
If this is co-ordinating role is not taken seriously and undertaken sensibly and fairly we are at risk of having more failures and bankruptcies than is reasonable.
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Sunday, October 30, 2016