Thursday, April 15, 2010
It Seems Someone Is Running an e-Health Spruiking Campaign! I Wonder Who?
All of a sudden there seems to be a great deal of publicity to foster excitement around e-Health.
First we have a little NEHTA puff piece which demonstrates that better communication – manual or electronic – can save everyone lots of hassles. Of course the electronic version assumes an e-Health infrastructure we will all be lucky to see in the next decade or two!
E-health is about ensuring Australians get the right treatment and the right medication in the right place and time. Here, one of NEHTAs Clinical Leads, Dr Ashley Bennett, a radiologist shows the difference e-health will make to patients and healthcare providers. Here is Dr Bennett's story.
Dr Ashley Bennett
Mr Tran is a 54 year old non-English speaking man who recently visited his GP with acute-on-chronic back pain and sciatica. The condition was not severe enough to require a visit to the emergency department, but it kept him awake at night and interfered with daily activities. His GP gave him a hand-written referral saying “Please review previous films and inject level indicated as per report’s recommendations”.
As an estimate, the total time from patient presentation until the conclusion of the procedure was 16 hours. In addition, Mr Tran and his daughter, myself and the GP were inconvenienced by the lack of information available and the inability to treat Mr Tran.
The difference e-health will make to this real life scenario is significant.
The GP will be able to submit the request electronically and the Radiology reception staff will be able to retrieve Mr Trans’ electronic health record instantaneously, including the previous lumbar MRI report. Seeing the ambiguity of the request, I would be asked to contact the GP straight away (before he went on leave) to clarify the procedure required. When Mr Tran arrived for his procedure, his previous images will be available for online review. After confirmation of the symptoms with Mr Tran and his daughter, a nerve root sleeve injection would have been performed. As an estimate, the total time from patient presentation until the conclusion of the procedure would be approximately 20 minutes.
Read the full saga here:
Then we have the RACGP out there spruiking NEHTA as part of their ‘being best mates’ sponsorship!
09 Apr 2010
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is very pleased to announce that its latest e-health initiative, e-health Futures, will officially be launched today at College House in South Melbourne.
e-health Futures is an innovative and interactive e-health display, which involves a walkthrough experience of how e-health information will work among health care professionals.
RACGP President Dr Chris Mitchell, who will open e-health Futures in Melbourne today, said that this initiative is very important to position general practice at the centre of the e-health revolution.
"General practice is in an ideal position to be at the forefront of e-health. There are now around 115 million GP consultations taking place annually and computers are now used by 98 per cent of GPs for clinical purposes.
"Without improvements in e-health and medical information management systems, we will continue to expose patients to unnecessary risks, including adverse events and medication errors.
The college has worked closely with the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) to incorporate their Model Healthcare Community into e-health Futures.
The model provides an opportunity to learn more about the policy and implementation of Australia 's future Healthcare Identifiers Service and also to see other innovations in e-health such as the RACGP's data aggregation tool Oxygen and the Pen Clinical Audit Tool (CAT).
Dr Chris Mitchell said that the college will be adding to the e-health projects available as the resources are being developed to assist and support GPs as e-health continues to evolve.
"This project is a unique opportunity for general practice teams, other health professionals, health industry associations, consumer groups, privacy advocates, universities, information industry associations, vendors and media representatives to learn more about e-health and find out how they can utilise the model.
"With more e-health government announcements to be expected soon, e-health Futures provides a timely opportunity for everyone to get ready and experience and direct the future of electronic health," concluded Dr Mitchell.
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
The release is here:
And finally we have the Brumby Government spruiking e-Health!
By Suzanne Tindal and Ben Grubb, ZDNet.com.au on April 9th, 2010 (1 day ago)
The Victorian Government yesterday called for an updated business case for the roll-out of a national individual electronic health record (IEHR) to be approved at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting this month.
"A business case for IEHRs for every Australian is ready for consideration by COAG," the state government said in its Putting Patients First proposal. "Victoria strongly supports COAG endorsing the business case as part of the overall health reform package, and the Commonwealth funding it from the Health and Hospitals Fund, with additional support from states."
The idea is that individual health records will allow Australians to easily access and share information such as test results, prescriptions and hospital discharge information with all of their healthcare providers.
The business case for the IEHR scheme, created by the National E-health Transition Authority (NEHTA), was first submitted to COAG in October 2008, but the financial crisis intervened and e-health was pushed off COAG's list of issues to consider. At subsequent COAG meetings, the business plan was not considered urgent enough to merit immediate attention.
The Victorian Government feels that now is the time for the business case to get a hearing.
Funny that the Victorians are on about the NEHTA IEHR plan and the Commonwealth is on about Personally Controlled EHRs – whatever each of those actually is?
Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence and three times is enemy action. Given NEHTA seems to be the common thread one just wonders what is going on behind the scenes. If this is the NEHTA push to get Victoria signed up to the Commonwealth version of Health Reform to assist NEHTA in getting some via some funds for NEHTA for an IEHR or whatever we should all be pretty alarmed I believe!
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Thursday, April 15, 2010