In a further sign that health is going to be a major issue in the upcoming election the ABC’s 7.30 Report has aired a segment on the need for electronic health records (EHR).
The segment which aired on the 3rd October, 2007 is described by the ABC as follows:
Horror stories about Australia's dilapidated health infrastructure have been much in the news lately - what's less well-understood is that one of the major killers of patients is the medical system's own chronic inability to share vital information.
Contains: video, video extras, image, links, transcript.
The report can be downloaded (for the next week or so) at the following URL’s
After a week or so the title URL will still allow the 8.31 minute segment to be watched as streaming audio for at least 2 months.
When I heard about this segment being aired I was hopeful it would usefully stimulate some debate regarding the performances being seen from our various governments. The following is a commenting e-mail I sent to some professional e-health e-mail lists.
Subject: [achi] [GPCG_TALK] 7.30 Report - Oct 3 2007, Segment on E-Health
Delivery-Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2007 08:27:56 -0000
I agree that from the perspective of those immersed in this field - it was lacking any depth and also drew a few long bows - especially the material regarding deaths etc.
I am not sure I can review it from the perspective of "Joe Citizen" - but I suspect it would not have had the impact I would have liked. We all know there are some problems in the e-health domain that need to be fixed. We also know the bureaucracy could have managed things better - how much better hard to say - but my view is we are somewhat stuck at present.
Even if a small conversation starts in the wider community it would be a good thing IMVHO.
There is a very simple message: Health IT can help improve patient safety and quality of care so there should be a reasonable level of investment in it. Right now there isn't and so there is unnecessary suffering.
There has also (before and since) been some discussion on the lists and I feel there was a general feeling that this was a bit of an “opportunity lost”.
Anyone interested in the e-health sector needs to have seen this program, maybe to explain to friends and colleagues what is really needed. – hence my posting about it as soon after broadcast as possible.