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, December 07, 2009

COAG Again Does Not Endorse the NEHTA IEHR Business Case – When Will They Give Up?

The outcomes of the Council of Australian Government Meeting today are here:

http://www.coag.gov.au/coag_meeting_outcomes/2009-12-07/index.cfm

As far as e-Health we have:

E-Health

Delivering a safe, patient-centred e-health system is one step closer today, with COAG affirming its commitment to the introduction in 2010 of national healthcare identifier numbers and agreeing to release for further consultation draft legislation for establishing the healthcare identifiers.

Healthcare identifiers are unique numbers that will be given to all healthcare providers, healthcare organisations and healthcare consumers. The healthcare identifier will enable a person’s health information to be linked uniquely to them, no matter how many different health care providers they see. This new system will provide a new level of confidence when communicating patient information between private and government healthcare providers and systems.

COAG also considered feedback from the first phase of public consultations held in July-August 2009. Following these consultations and feedback, further work has been done on the identifiers to clarify and strengthen patient privacy, including limiting the use of information, clearly outlining who has access to information and providing penalties for any misuse of information.

COAG also agreed a National Partnership on e-Health, setting out the objectives and scope for the Healthcare Identifier Service to be operated by Medicare Australia, as well as relevant governance, legislative, administrative and financial arrangements. The identifiers are an important building block for the future introduction of a patient-controlled Individual Electronic Health Record.

So:

Baby steps and no IEHR for now at least, and probably forever.

This comment is a bit of a worry:

"The identifiers are an important building block for the future introduction of a patient-controlled Individual Electronic Health Record."

They are still going on with the stuff that we know is of low priority and off the agenda!

Note there is also still more work to do on privacy etc for the IHI.

The IHI etc won’t happen at any scale next year I believe. I wonder what this framework that has been agreed actually looks like? It is not clear from the communiqué.

This is, of course, all a smokescreen by Ms Roxon and Mr Rudd for having no clear health reform agenda sorted out after 2+ years in office. The NEHTA CEO said ages ago that the concept of a national EHR system delivered by Government was probably dead.

See here:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/governments-change-direction-on-health-e-records/story-e6frgal6-1225786043408

David.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm now guessing there will be no reform this term AT ALL, but rather a bunch of election promises will be taken to the electorate, in the hope of sufficient mandate that they can get things through both houses.

It's actually a sad statement not just about the government, but the obstructive opposition too. Clearly nothing of substance is possible with the current arrangements in federal government, and we are in Mr Abbott's own words, now in 'election mode'.

Anonymous said...

They are still "going on" with the stuff that is low priority because it is:

* where almost everything else starts from
* not finished yet!

If NEHTA and Medicare haven't completed the identifiers program yet, why would any sane funding body give them more money at this stage? And if COAG didn't want to fund NEHTA to do the work, which other government-owned body would they fund to build health records instead?

See how the identifiers legislation passage runs next year. This will be a good barometer for how ready Australian health consumers are for a connected health records system - which COAG could then fund with greater confidence. And they will also know whether the NEHTA/Medicare partnership could be feasible for a project more than ten times bigger than UHI.

Dr David More MB, PhD, FACHI said...

Sorry, you missed my point. The Personal IEHR is a total furphy. Lets get the Health Provider automated and connected and then worry about the other stuff. First things first!

David.