Yet again we have had a pretty bizarre release from NEHTA.
4 November 2010. Currently five men die every hour in Australia from potentially preventable illnesses, which are not detected early enough, yet despite this staggering number, men are still reluctant to go and see a GP. Dr Ronald McCoy, a board member of a men’s health program, The M5 Project, developed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), is hoping that new e-health systems may help to detect preventable illnesses earlier and ultimately lead to better health outcomes for men.
“Men face a higher death rate than women when it comes to cancer, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, respiratory disease and mental health problems including suicide and accidents. Many of these conditions are preventable. Men tend to present later with health problems, visit the GP less frequently and when they do, they have shorter consultations and are less likely to come in for preventative health checks.
“With one electronic record, we can build a comprehensive medical history for a patient that can be accessed by any GP. This means that no matter where they seek medical help, the GP can see how long it was since the patient had a cholesterol check, monitor their blood pressure and talk to the patient about any significant lifestyle changes.
“This is hugely significant in dealing with men’s health and well-being and it will also eliminate the need to duplicate tests and procedures, reducing the time men need to spend at a medical clinic, which is a huge factor why men stay away in the first place.
“E-health makes pro-active preventive health measures easier, which will improve treatment outcomes significantly. Electronic records give us a huge advantage and with other electronic systems, could lead to the biggest gain in men’s health we have seen yet,” said Dr McCoy.
The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) is the lead organisation supporting the national vision for e-health in Australia and to ensure that GPs can deliver the highest standard of care to their patients, the RACGP is working with NEHTA on what is reasonable, workable and useful for GPs in the area of e-health.
The RACGP recently launched a new online health tool, M5 HEALTH ONLINE, which allows men to carry out a personalised health check, followed by access to no nonsense, practical advice on where to go and what to do if their lifestyle changes.
For more information about the M5 Project and M5 HEALTH ONLINE, visit www.m5project.com.au
The release with contact details etc. is found here:
What this release is trying to do is indicate NEHTA is doing something that it really isn’t (providing help with preventive care) and the only value I can see in any of this is bringing to the attention of the M5 project to employers who can enrol their male employees in a PHR like system to keep track of their progress. It should be noted this is not at all related to and as far as I can see will not interoperate with planned PCEHR.
The downloadable health questionnaire to take to the doctor when you decide to go also seems quite sensible but again has nothing to do with NEHTA.
Any routine screening and preventive alerts will not come from anything NEHTA is involved in but rather from GP Practice Management Systems (which should be distinguished from the PCEHRs that seem to be on some launching pad somewhere).
Providing a .pdf of a 2 page health questionnaire on line really does not quite cut it for being an e-Health initiative and it is clearly in no way related to what NEHTA is doing.
Overall M5 is a worthy and sensible initiative but it simply has nothing to do with NEHTA. Just as we have had press releases telling us NEHTA delivered e-Health is helping rural patients, indigenous populations and so on I am sure in a month or so it will be women, children, the aged, blonds, those under 5 feet high and so on endlessly.
Some of the recent ones are found:
and so on. Close reading of all of them will show the relationship between the release and what NEHTA does is often a little tenuous to say the least!
At least we now know how some of the well paid NEHTA executive team spend their time - dreaming up propaganda like this!
Just how a Clinical College like the RACGP can be induced to be part of a commercial sponsorship deal to be part of this really amazes me. Surely they should be a little more detached from commercial interests than this?
NEHTA should just stop the relentless self-promotion and actually start delivering some value!