Sunday, June 22, 2014

Guess What? Major Experts Also See The Lack Of National E-Health Leadership As A Major Problem.

This appeared a few days ago:

Leadership vacuum cripples e-health

June 19, 2014
Mark Eggleton
Australia continues to struggle with the concept of e-health, with numerous health sector stakeholders equally to blame. This was one of the key messages to come out of the recent Big Data in Healthcare roundtable held by The Australian Financial Review in partnership with GE in Sydney.
Capital Markets CRC principal adviser Dr Paul Nicolarakis suggested part of the problem was Australia lacks a vision for healthcare. He suggested we don’t have someone or a collection of individuals working towards one goal. There are numerous stakeholders across the sector all vying to be the loudest voice, yet not pursuing a common goal.
Chief scientist at The George Institute for Global Health, Professor Anushka Patel said there was no one out there explaining and selling the potential value of big data and e-health or really engaging the government in a productive manner.
“There’s potential to reduce waste and reduce healthcare expenditure without sacrificing quality of care and health outcomes,” Professor Patel said.
“I also think big data could improve our ability to ensure equity, better health outcomes and health access. Those are the two of the big policy messages that need to be conveyed.”
Professor Enrico Coiera, who is the director of the Centre for Health Informatics, said data is already on the move – it just needs to be better linked. He said there is already plenty of data that’s slowly improving quality out there.
“The job is to get that moving around the system. Cheap fees and hospitals sharing information is what we want. Importantly, let’s drop the e from e-health and just improve health services,” Professor Coiera said.
Paul Nicolarakis reiterated that part of the problem was we lack strong, informed, insightful leaders of our health system.
“With all respect to the Australian Medical Association, they are not appointed to be the leaders of the health system. Our health ministers are not health people, they aren’t clinicians or experts in health, and I think, because of these sort of structural limitations, it’s very hard to develop the idea of e-health.
More here:
It is hard to disagree with anything that these experts are saying. I would only add to the need for dramatically improved leadership a desperate need for a fundamental re-design of the Governance structures for e-Health.
It seems to me we are gradually moving towards improved, local and responsive management of the health sector while at the same time there has been absolutely none of that change at the national e-Health level and it really shows.
The PCEHR Review offers a good set of suggestions as to what is needed and if anything is to come from this review I believe these recommendations are fundamental and desperately required.
To quote:
“ -  Restructure the approach to governance, dissolve NEHTA and replace with the Australian Commission for Electronic Health (ACeH) reporting directly to the Standing Council on Health (SCoH).
-  Establish a Clinical and Technical Advisory Committee to ACeH.
-  Establish a Jurisdictional Advisory Committee to ACeH.
-  Establish a Consumer Advisory Committee to ACeH.
-  Establish a Privacy and Security Committee to ACeH.
-  Establish a taskforce to transition arrangements between the current governance structure and the one recommended in this report.
-  Maintain the Independent Advisory Council (IAC) with an altered reporting line, direct to the Federal Minister for Health.
If these recommendations are not largely implemented there will be just no hope for Australian e-health in the foreseeable future.

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