It seems we are at the tipping point I have been banging on about. The following is to appear in Medical Observer next week.
Elizabeth McIntosh - Friday, 3 April 2009
THE Federal Government has just 12 months to set the ground rules for e-health standards before a national, unified e-health system slips from its grasp, experts have warned.
Leader of the team which authored the Deloitte’s National E-Health Strategy, Adam Powick, said without a clear direction, smaller e-health trials and projects would continue to develop and forge ahead according to their own standards, leading to an increasingly fragmented system.
The challenge now, Mr Powick said, was to align the major e-health projects and encourage enough clinicians to use them to create a “tipping point”, so others could no longer ignore the benefits of a coordinated system.
Responding to MO queries, a NEHTA spokesperson said the authority had been funded to examine foundational services to enable the e-health system.
Full article is here if you have access.
So, we have from the horse’s mouth that things are a real mess and will only get worse without some much improved management and leadership.
You can tell from the NEHTA response it is sure to come from them – NOT!
Can I say I believe Mr Powick has it exactly right and that those who care for the future of e-Health in Australia should be afraid, very afraid.
This view is also supported by others:
“....Booz and Company principal Klaus Boehncke [said] at the conference. "It's fair to say that political leadership has not been exhibited here as it has elsewhere," he said, pointing to US President Barack Obama, who put e-health onto the agenda in his first address at the White House, the German Federal Health Minister Ulla Schmidt's spruiking of her country's e-health card and the tremendous drive in Singapore to get electronic health records up and running by 2010.
"What you see then in Australia because of this lack of leadership is that many of the states are pursuing their own separate visions of e-health programs," Boehncke said.”
Full article is here:
Indeed the level of frustration by many of the stakeholders is also made clear here as well.
Urgent call for health records
Ben Woodhead and Brian Corrigan
The Australian Financial Review | 31 Mar 2009 | Page: 31 | Information.
"Health-care professionals and technology developers are pressing the federal government to use economic stimulus funds to implement national electronic health records (EHR).
Executives from organisations including the Australian Medical Association, hospital software developers, multinational IT firms and small business have joined the call. At stake, they say, is a project that would spur employment and export opportunities while introducing a potentially life-saving medical records system for Australian residents.
The push to re-invigorate efforts to create a national EHR has gained fresh momentum after US President Barack Obama announced he would provide $US19 billion ($27.4 billion) for e-health under his economic stimulus package.
AMA federal president Rosanna Capolingua describes the Obama plan as a very sensible use of stimulus funding, and urges the Rudd government to take similar action.
"Not only would this create jobs and infrastructure now, but it would also deliver an e-health record that's important for the future of Australians," Capolingua argues. "We have been concerned that the last two stimulus packages didn't put any money towards health. When you put money into health, you reap the returns over time."
IBA Health chief executive officer Gary Cohen agrees. IBA is Australia's largest software company with 4000 employees worldwide. Most staff are based offshore, working on projects such as the British public hospital sector's £12 billion ($24.8 billion) National Program for IT."
Much more here including more comments from Adam Powick of Deloittes and Peter Moon of VIACOE. (Subscription required)
All NEHTA can say is that it hopes someone will provide the $2.0 Billion Gary Cohen suggests might be needed.
Minister Roxon, DoHA and NEHTA have been warned. Time has come to get their act together and move forward in a coherent fashion before it is too late!.