Thursday, August 15, 2013
Now What We Need To See Is Some Real Action on The NEHRS / PCEHR. The Time For Talk Is Over.
This report appeared a few days ago on the NEHTA Clinical Leads to Dr Kruys and his team in Geraldton.
My email inbox was overflowing, there were text messages wishing me good luck, journos calling and a press photographer was rocking up at the practice. On Twitter NEHTA’s visit had been dubbed ‘Khrushchev vs Kennedy’, others said that Geraldton was like the little Astrix & Obelix village, resisting the mighty Roman legions of Julius Caesar with the druid Getafix’s magic potions. But the analogies turned out to be wrong (in a good way)…
Dr Mukesh Haikerwal and Dr Nathan Pinskier, the two prominent clinical leads working with NEHTA to get the PCEHR off the ground, had decided it was time to visit us in the west. Also present at the Meeting was AMA(WA) rep Michael Prendergast, Panaceum Group partner Dr Elly Slootmans, CEO Richard Sykes and our operations manager Louise – who has spent about 100 hours earlier this year to get the practice PCEHR-ready before we realised that the risks of signing up would be too high for the business and the doctors.
Mukesh, or ‘Mr eHealth’ as some are calling him, gave a persuasive presentation about the PCEHR, including the challenges ahead. His team is working on an interesting program called CUP (Clinical Utilities Program) to iron out the problems clinicians are facing when getting started or working with the national eHealth record system.
Mukesh and Nathan made a strong case for the PCEHR, including potential benefits such as electronic referrals, discharge summaries, ePrescribing, encrypted messaging etc. They seemed very aware of the issues and are putting in a lot of effort to fix them so the PCEHR eventually becomes a tool that makes our lives easier.
The bad and commentary follows - as well as comments from a good number of readers.
From my perspective, having had a similar conversation with the same cast over two years ago, the time for talking is now over.
We have to see fundamental change in a range of aspects of the PCEHR to make it more useful to clinicians or it will certainly never be a success and a very large sum of money will have been wasted to say nothing of the destruction of morale of the e-Health community.
The clock is ticking and it will explode before the end of the year without substantive change in my view. The recent resignations of some of the clinical leads make that utterly clear.
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Thursday, August 15, 2013