Wednesday, November 30, 2016

I Have To Say I Am Not Sure Just Why This Has Taken So Long? Inertia I Guess.

This appeared late last week:

Prescription approvals to move online

24 November, 2016
Doctors will no longer have to make calls to get approval for prescribing certain medications under proposed new laws.
Legislation introduced to parliament on Thursday will allow for the full-automation of a number of administrative decisions in a bid to save time, reduce errors and make the process more efficient.
"For prescribers and patients, online prescribing approvals will return precious minutes lost to telephone calls back to consultation time," Health Minister Sussan Ley said.
Around 6.8 million requests were made over the phone last financial year.
A majority of those requests will be able to be done online under the proposed measures, Ms Ley said.
More here:
There is also some coverage in Australian Doctor here:

PBS authority script line's 'Smooth Steve' to be replaced by bot

Paul Smith | 25 November, 2016 |
Authority script phone line operators will be replaced by computers under the latest attempt to streamline the system that sucks up hours of GP time.
This week, Minister for Health and Aged Care Sussan Ley introduced new legislation before Parliament allowing the PBS to make use of “computer programs for administrative actions and decision making”.
She said the legislative changes would trigger a “major leap forward in the [PBS] use of technology”, with prescriber requests processed online rather than by health department staff.
The AMA had previously estimated that 25,000 patient consultations were lost every month while doctors used the system.
Some 6.8 million telephone calls and postal requests were made each year for permission to prescribe drugs, Ms Ley said.
She claimed the changes would free up time for thousands of consultations, saying that on average doctors were currently spending one minute 27 seconds on the phone waiting for approvals.
But, while the looming revolution will be welcomed by GPs, it could mean GPs having to say goodbye to 'Steve', the mythical authority script line operator known by his husky voice
More here:
For a Government that claims to have deep digital deployment insights and motivation, and given the amount of time GPs presently waste on the phone to the PBS seeking approvals, this is well overdue.
The next thing to be watched is just how clunky or not the implementation will be. I won’t be holding my breath for a beautifully integrated and quick to use app, well integrated into the usual practice management systems.
As they say, time will tell!!
David.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

you might almost call it eHealth. we should have transitioned to this sort of thing years ago. What a waste.

Dr Ian Colclough said...

Nothing to do with 'inertia' David. It's simply a reflection of the lack of understanding at policy making level and at peak professional body level of the practicalities of developing and deploying a healthIT application with huge benefits at every point of the system operation; including requesting, approving and receiving authorization.

It's a classic example of how and where the relevant Department could have shown leadership, engendered enormous goodwill and won bucket loads of compliments from the medical profession and the community of health software vendors a long time ago. Progress follows leadership.

Anonymous said...

How right you are December 01, 2016 10:10 AM. But I would with respect like to suggest you have overlooked the biggest reason of all. Ego.

Bureaucrats and Politicians egos need truckloads of fodder every few days and they won't get that from supporting development of routine applications. They need to have really big projects that give them massive exposure and can be seen by everyone to be world leading edge - they need to be seen to be ahead of the game and showing the world how to do it - PCEHR and MYHR - fit that bill. We can show the world what the world has failed to achieve. That, I submit is why prescription authorisations have received no attention - too small for the big egos.