Quote Of The Year

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

E-Health Spin Central – A New Government Web Site – False, Exaggerated Expectations Here We Come!

For the pleasure of all we now have an Government e-Health propaganda site. This is as described in the HI Service Communications Plans some of us read a few week ago.

The site can be found here:


I note in passing we were promised the ‘non-draft’ Communications Plan and since we see the draft is now being actioned we can assume there is now an ‘approved ‘ plan available. Knowing NEHTA occasionally browse the blog – if they could e-mail this to me for posting that would be good! Otherwise I will have to repost the draft plans for download as the basis of my agreement to take down the ‘drafts’ would seem to have been broken.

Back to a few choice highlights from the site:

Consulting with consumers

The right person, the right place, the right time

The introduction of healthcare identifiers for consumers will improve the delivery of safe, quality healthcare. Legislation will set out HI Services governance, privacy safeguards and permitted uses of healthcare identifiers. Healthcare identifiers are the foundation for a future individual electronic health record. This will give individuals and their healthcare providers an up-to-date picture of your health status and with your permission, your doctor can share that information with your other healthcare providers.

Consultation is ongoing

The success of any reform initiative depends on acceptance of its implications by those who are most impacted. Consumer research suggests that 82% of Australians support the introduction of e-health. However, ongoing consultation is essential to ensure that consumer concerns are adequately understood and addressed.

On the proposed introduction of healthcare identifiers

In July-August 2009 Australian Health Ministers concluded a month-long period of public consultation on legislative proposals for healthcare identifiers and privacy. Submissions were invited on a public discussion paper and a series of consultative forums held in July 2009. The latter included stakeholder meetings and consumer focus groups.

A wide range of feedback was received from more than 90 public submissions during the consultation process and a report was compiled for consideration by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). In December 2009, a second round of consultations on an exposure draft Healthcare Identifiers Bill was conducted to seek further public output prior to finalising the legislation.

See here:


Comment : One small question – did anyone (like DoHA or NEHTA) ever let those who responded to the HI Service Legislation know what had been changed. Short answer nope. I wonder why? Could it have been they were told a lot of stuff they did not what to hear?


Collaborating with Vendors

The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) is the lead organisation supporting the national vision for e-health in Australia, working openly, constructively and collaboratively with consumers, providers, funders, policy makers, the broader healthcare industry and health IT vendors.

The role of vendors

Vendors will play a key role in the implementation of the Healthcare Identifiers (HI) Service which will be broken into six phases.

Meeting vendor needs

NEHTA is committed to addressing vendor needs at each stage of the vendor journey:

· probity - no vendor will be given favoured consideration

· clarity - vendor briefings will be aligned with HI Service releases

· flexibility - product development can be staged to match each jurisdiction's e-health timetable

See here:


Comment: It seems the HI Service has a six phase implementation plan. I wonder why no one has ever seen it outside NEHTA? I hear rumours we may soon – after asking for months.


Who is involved in e-health?

In developing the foundations of e-health, Australian governments are collaborating with representative groups drawn from across the healthcare sector, as well as health leaders, consumer groups, software vendors, informaticians and standards experts. This group includes general practitioners and specialist medical and non-medical groups including allied health, pharmaceutical and nursing.

Clinical leadership

More than 20 clinical leaders from around the country are supporting the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), providing guidance, advice and first-hand experience to spearhead the innovations and improvements that will drive increases in health quality and safety.

These clinicians continue to practice medicine on a daily basis. Their years of practical experience give them a unique insight into what can work and what will make a difference in areas such as pathology, medicines, radiology, and hospital discharges and referrals.

Stakeholder feedback

Dozens of stakeholder groups have been consulted on the e-health journey. A formalised reference group process is conducted by NEHTA to ensure channels are available for informed feedback.

Success through collaboration

Collaboration is becoming increasingly important at all stages of the e-health roll-out. We are pooling resources to learn and innovate, design and develop the infrastructure to deliver e-health. We have one clear goal: to deliver a safer, better connected and more sustainable healthcare system.

See here:



Go here:


Not a single stakeholder consultation report published in the last 6 months and who knows just how much impact part time (for NEHTA) advisory clinicians have. The evidence seems to suggest not much.


Benefits of e-health

The national e-health initiative is the first time that Australian governments have embraced end-to-end integrated e-health. Whilst this is complex, it offers long-term benefits including:

  • An advanced and secure healthcare environment
  • Streamline the secure delivery of healthcare information
  • Strip away repetitious and inefficient processes

Key benefits:

  • Offers anywhere, anytime access: your health information will be electronically available to the right person at the right place and time
  • Overcomes fragmentation and duplication: interconnecting the Australian health sector will remove much of the reliance on paper records and unnecessary duplication of tests
  • More control over health outcomes: you or your carer will have electronic access to the information you need to better manage and control your personal health outcomes
  • Best practice secure messaging: you will have confidence that your personal health information is being managed within a secure, confidential and tightly controlled environment
  • Equity for all Australians: better access to health care services in remote, rural and disadvantaged communities

See here:


Comment: This is all based not on the HI Service but on some form of shared record. The work to confuse the public as to what you can have for what is on in earnest here!

This is also fun from the same page:

“NSW pilot lays foundation for electronic records

The Healthelink Electronic Health Record (EHR) pilot project was the first step in NSW Health's strategy to provide an online and integrated electronic record of an individual's health care across public and private health settings.”

This project has been limping along for years, is privacy invasive, and an example of ‘worst practice’.

An 30 page Summary Evaluation Report was published in Sept 2008 having had the project run for 2 years. Some 16+ months later it has not been expanded – which tells you what a roaring success it was!

And this is claimed as success and a model for the Shared EHR NEHTA wants. Joke Joyce!

I could go on, but why bother? This is just a deceptive propaganda web site in my view, which dishonestly raises public expectations – like so much else we see from this Health Minister.



Anonymous said...

You are so right. It is first and foremost a propaganda website to tell the punter that health is under control at last, it is changing for the better, each and every day a new piece of news will come out on this DOHA managed and controlled web site to make the government and the Minister look good.

The punters will sign-on for updates and as the election gets closer the punters will get their daily dose of health propaganda all designed to make them say "Ahhh, I feel better now" that Government is fixing health and using modern up-to-date technology and the Internet to look after me and my family. I'll vote them back in again so they can keep doing the job until they finish it.

Anonymous said...

And Tony Abbott's track record on e-health as health minster was ....?

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

What record?

But the efforts of Ms Roxon have matched him in quality and effectiveness in my view