Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Let’s Play Spot The E-Health Spin From The Federal Health Minister. What Fun.
Health Minister Tanya Plibersek appeared on Meet the Press on the Weekend.
Here is the link to the show.
Here is an approximate transcript of what was said (E&OE).
8.49 minutes into the discussion:
Sue Dunlevy: Have you spent a billion dollars on an ehealth system – doctors cant upload any patient records without crashing their computers in their surgeries?
Minister Plibersek : That's not right Sue.
Sue Dunlevy: Is this not a white elephant, when will we be able to use this – I mean it was launched 9 months ago and it is still not working?
Minister Plibersek : There are 8 million records on the e-health system right now, there are 100,000 people signed up, there are about 7,000 organisations signed up, we have already got a number of hospitals doing electronic discharge summaries, we have doctors in many surgeries, in the test areas, using this very effectively but it is a huge system – this is something that will one day serve 23 million Australians. It is a big job. I have got my own e-health record and I was able to see for the last two years everything I have been to the doctor for, every medicine I have had, I have been able to check my children’s immunisations status on line. It is a very useful thing.
Sue Dunlevy: Was that in a test situation or a clinical situation?
Minister Plibersek: No it is mine, I sat down at my computer and typed up and I logged on and created my own record – it took me about 10 minutes
Sue Dunlevy: Has your doctor been able to update your medical records?
Minister Plibersek: I haven’t been to the doctor since then because I am quite healthy thank you very much. But if I went to hospital and I wanted an electronic discharge summary – my own doctor could then read my own discharge summary. This is the very beginning of a massive change in health in Australia. In years to come it will make a huge difference. It will reduce prescription errors – we have thousands of people every year who are made sicker when they go to the doctor because they get the wrong medicine or too much medicine. It will mean if you have an accident and taken into hospital all the hospital staff will be able to see whether you have had any surgery in recent years, whether you are on any medications, whether you have any allergies. It will mean that if you have an x-ray or a blood test in Sydney and you get sick in Brisbane then they can have a look at your blood test or that x-ray that you had six months ago. Or six years ago. Huge savings to health and huge improvements’
----- End Transcript.
The figure that amazed me was the 8 million records in the system. That sounds pretty high to me!
While obviously well briefed I am not sure the Minister was really telling a story that reflects the actual reality of what has been achieved.
Oh well - I suppose that is pre-election politics!
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Tuesday, April 09, 2013