This blog is totally independent, unpaid and has only three major objectives.
The first is to inform readers of news and happenings in the e-Health domain, both here in Australia and world-wide.
The second is to provide commentary on e-Health in Australia and to foster improvement where I can.
The third is to encourage discussion of the matters raised in the blog so hopefully readers can get a balanced view of what is really happening and what successes are being achieved.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
The Parliamentary Library Of The Commonwealth Government Publishes A Review of E-Health. Must Read Stuff!
I was told about this review, which was published today, late in the afternoon.
The title etc. is.
RESEARCH PAPER NO. 3, 2011–12 17 November 2011
The e health revolution—easier said than done
Dr Rhonda Jolly
Social Policy Section
E health is seen by some as possibly the most important revolution in healthcare since the advent of modern medicine. E health makes use of developments in computer technology and telecommunications to deliver health information and services more effectively and efficiently. As such, it requires a different and radical way of thinking about the delivery of health services.
Since the 1990s, the potential of e health has been discussed globally, but it remains a work in progress everywhere, albeit that some countries have had more success instigating measures than others. There are many reasons for the slow adoption of e health. These include: the fragmented funding and governance of healthcare services, resistance of professions to changes in existing models of care, a lack of rigorous research evidence on the benefits that might drive change and a reluctance of politicians to be seen to be tampering with a politically-sensitive service. There may also be concerns about the costs and complexities associated with e health implementation and the need to resolve issues about how it will affect practitioners and consumers alike.
This research paper does not attempt to discuss all the aspects of e health in depth, for the subject is extensive, both technically and in policy terms. The paper provides instead an introductory overview of some of e health’s critical aspects. In so doing, it looks briefly at certain aspects of the overseas experience of e health policy development and considers some practical application case studies. For the most part, however, the paper concentrates on the evolution of e health policy in Australia.
For Australia, e health holds great potential in many areas, such as resolving the tyranny of distance or reducing the costs associated with caring for an ageing population. This notwithstanding, policy makers have discovered that there are many obstacles to developing national e health policies and programs. Some of these have been resolved; others persist; still others are only just beginning to emerge. While the paper discusses most of these in a broad context, it also focuses on particular issues, such as concerns about how e health will affect patient privacy.
The paper concludes that e health does indeed have great potential, but harnessing that potential has, and continues to require finding and negotiating a delicate balance between many interests and issues.