Tuesday, April 28, 2015
It Seems To Me The Enthusiastic PCEHR Proponents At This Conference Missed The Point. The PCEHR Is A Rubbish Solution.
This report appeared last week:
Far from being a technology problem, digital health initiatives are being held back by a lack of incentive and government backing, a panel of health experts has said.
Imagine you have the technology platform, the tools, and the know-how to help move forward an industry that is about to have its costs increase imminently, but despite the improvements your scheme would bring, no one can or wants to step forward and make it happen.
Welcome to the digitisation of health care in Australia.
Despite more than AU$1.1 billion being spent on the Personally Controlled E-Health Record (PCEHR) project by governments of different political persuasions, an electronic record is no closer to being fully integrated into the health system.
"The PCEHR, I don't think we are going to be in a place to see that seamlessly integrated in the next decade, unless a miraculous change happens in people's attitudes," Toby Hall, Group CEO of St Vincent's Health Australia, told attendees of the Connect Expo Future Health Summit on Tuesday.
Hall said it isn't technology holding back its utilisation, but rather that hospitals would only move when health services and GPs are using the PCEHR.
"We've actually got to win the hearts and minds of people and say: 'This is a better way forward.' That's not going to happen until people see the benefit for them in that," he said.
"You're not talking amazingly complex technology; you're talking an issue which is actually more to do with will.
"We've got the platforms there. People aren't willing to use them."
Under the former Labor federal government, AU$1 billion was spent creating the PCEHR, with the current Coalition government allocating AU$140 million to keep the project going until it implements the recommendations of a review into the project.
One of the authors of that review, executive director of UnitingCare Health Richard Royle, said Australia is behind the eight ball compared to other Western nations, and a lack of interoperability and communication is holding back digital health programs.
"We have a platform that we can roll out reasonably quickly with some political will," he said.
"A lot of the basic stuff could be far better done in an integrated way with sharing of data."
The experts agreed that one way to ensure health professionals would not adopt a technology-based solution is to approach it as a technology project.
"Number one piece of evidence that comes out is: Unless this is driven and engaged by clinicians, then it won't be successful," Donna Markham, advisor to the chief executive affairs at Monash Health, said.
I would like to suggest all these people / speakers are just wrong. Placing lipstick on a pig does not make the pig an attractive proposition and I would suggest the PCEHR is simply an unusable, clunky and badly conceived system. No amount of confected enthusiasm is going to see this system widely adopted and used.
Pity about that. Time to go back to the drawing board and do e-Health properly!
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Tuesday, April 28, 2015