Quote Of The Year

Quote Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"

Monday, October 20, 2008

NEHTA Continues on its own Clueless Way.

We had the release of another ‘bodice ripper’ from NEHTA last week. I describe it thus because of the breathless enthusiasm it offers on an unproven and untried concept – just like those with intact bodices (just like those who were consulted) must feel - when confronted with a similarly unfamiliar, badly considered “proposal”.

NEHTA Consultation Report

  • Identifier: NEHTA 0296:2008
  • Published: 14/10/2008
  • Hits: 57
  • Filesize 813.1 KB
  • Filetype pdf (Mime Type: application/pdf)
  • Reference: NEHTA Consultation Report


This report provides a summary of feedback and discussion following an extensive consultation period conducted by NEHTA on benefits and drivers for an Individual Electronic Health Record (IEHR).

NEHTA conducted two Clinician and Consumer Roundtable sessions in June 2008. One in Brisbane (5 & 6 June) with an urban focus and one in Alice Springs (11 & 12 June) discussing issues relating to a rural and remote context. A Peak Body Summit was also held in Canberra (18 June). The aim of the Summit was to present and validate the key recommendations from the Roundtables in Brisbane and Alice Springs. In total, over 150 people attended the sessions. The objectives of the sessions were to consult with Clinicians and Consumers on the benefits, drivers and acceptance of e-Health, specifically, the:

· Purpose and benefits of unique consumer and provider identification;

· Purpose and benefits of the IEHR;

· Privacy of information held within the Unique Healthcare Identifier (UHI) Service and IEHR service;

· Type of information held within a IEHR (including clinician and consumer views on sensitive information);

· Access to and participation in the UHI Service and IEHR service;

· Governance of the IEHR Service;

· Consent arrangements to establish and authorise access to the UHI Service and IEHR Service; and

· Secondary uses of the UHI and IEHR information.

The report can be downloaded from here:


A report from ZD-Net is also available:

Hurry it up: Public tells NEHTA

Suzanne Tindal, ZDNet.com.au

15 October 2008 03:50 PM

Clinicians and consumers have told Australia's peak e-health body to stop conducting pilots and speed up the roll out of a national electronic health record project, according to a report released yesterday.

The report collated of issues discussed at recent round-table sessions in Brisbane, Alice Springs and Canberra, where over 150 people gathered to pass on their thoughts on electronic health records to the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA).

NEHTA's level of community engagement was criticised last year in an independent review by the Boston Consulting Group.

The e-health group is the key central figure attempting to coordinate disparate state and federal government and private sector initiatives which are currently seeing billions of dollars ploughed into building e-health systems around Australia.

Round-table participants proposed a model where records with minimum information were rolled out — for example a health summary for involved individuals including immunisations, allergies, medications, problems, organ donor status, next of kin and contact details — until trust had been built up, when functionality could be increased.

"We really firmly believe — well, I certainly firmly believe that we have to have this in as soon as possible, and just suggested that yes, we won't get a perfect system up and running straight away, so let's get something up and running, and develop it as it goes," one consumer said.

His comments were echoed by a clinician. "I agree with the fact that we need to start, sort of, shallow and we need to get this out there now. The longer we wait, the more likely we are to have lots of little projects going on that are never going to talk to this project, so we need to get it out there," they said.

However, despite enthusiasm to get the show on the road, round-table participants wanted a high level of support along with the roll out, with concerns that parts of the health sector were not ready for implementation.

More here:


Just a few short comments.

First we have a 60 page report. How much is actual consultation report? By my count all of 9 pages of excited quotes from anonymous consumers, clinicians etc. The rest was all padding, attendance lists and so on. (Remember we had all these people flown to Alice Springs and elsewhere at some vast cost for 9 pages!)

Second each of the three gatherings was richly populated by NEHTA staff (about 10-15% of the attendance). I wonder why when what was wanted was non NEHTA staff consultation? I wonder where they there to make sure no hard questions were asked?

Third there is still no clarity about just what the proposed IEHR is and how it will relate to GPs, Specialists, Service Providers (Path, Radiology etc), Hospitals, Public Health and the like.

Fourth where we the non-NEHTA technical people who could ask the technical questions about the practicality and feasibility of the IEHR – not a one I could see.

Fifth, why does it take 5 months to write and publish up a nine page report when an organisation has over 100 staff and 20 who attended the sessions. The meetings were mid June and it is now mid October. (The document was done by Mid September according to the .pdf) I wonder is this release all about failing to be funded by COAG?

Sixth and very important is that without a real technical and functional design of the planned IEHR we can have no confidence as to what is actually proposed here.

Seventh and also important are all those who were not consulted. The hospital sector seems to have been especially ignored.

Eighth it would be fair to say there is no real implementation plan etc. A ¾ page next steps section hardly cuts it!

Last we are still to see all the privacy and security assessments – and to consult without clarity on those matters is really a waste of time and money!

All in all another shocker from a worryingly out of touch organisation that has no clue about e-Health and how it should be done.



Anonymous said...

Out-of-touch is an understatement.

Look at it this way. NEHTA wants money so it can survive and continue employing all those people somewhere north of 130+.

The money will come from COAG. So NEHTA needs to show it has 'consulted' widely = lots of travel = big tick = done.

Thick glossy document headed 'Consultation - Outcomes' PLUS the obligatory one page summary which is needed to reassure COAG. Thick document = goodness.

The one page summary gives CONFIDENCE to all those busy decision makers who don't have time to look between the covers but won't make a decision without the one page Seduction Summary.

As you say - it's a real "bodice ripper" where COAG, the vulnerable heroine, succumbs to NEHTA’s lust and falls into its arms.

The Bodice Ripper formula requires the book to be fat 'page turners', generously scattered with seduction scenes which must happen at frequent intervals. Depending on the author or publishing house style, the principal characters (COAG & NEHTA) must marry......... unless the vulnerable heroine is strong enough to resist.

Anonymous said...

My god, is Jane Austen working for Nehta now...it could easily be titled Persuasion, or Sense and Sensibility or even Pride and Prejudice?
Anyway, I liked the pictures....even though there wasn't one of a ripped bodice...sigh!

Anonymous said...

There has also been no public outcomes from the recent Pathology workshop presented by NEHTA.