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:

Political will is holding back digital health: Experts

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.
More here:
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!


Anonymous said...

Good eHealth solutions should not need 1.1 Billion of taxpayers money to get to first base and then flop so badly. The PCEHR is clearly not a good solution as good solutions do achieve uptake. Good solutions don't happen overnight and the PCEHR is sucking the oxygen from the good solutions that are out there. The sad thing is that we have spent 1.1 Billion and actually damaged the good solutions by starving them of air. If there ever was a time for the government to get out of the way its now. Users will embrace good solutions and pay for them themselves if they stop being told that the PCEHR is going to solve the issues that it clearly has no hope of solving. The commentators mentioned are not experts in any way shape or form, their level of understanding is woefully inadequate. Users will judge solutions and use those that work reliably and improve their workflow.

Terry Hannan said...

David and Anonymous, these are excellent postings and remind me of the perspectives on growing mushrooms. "Put them in a dark tunnel and feed them Sh...t". This PCEHR project is a $1.1 billion mushroom farm.

Karen Dearne said...

It is absolute bollocks to suggest that there is a technology platform, the tools and the know-how to move health forward via the PCEHR. Absolute bollocks. No wonder it's impossible to achieve real progress, when "experts" trot out such garbage.

Yes, Terry, it's a mushroom farm, but it's not even producing edible mushrooms

For anyone wanting further evidence... http://ceha.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/AnalysisPCEHR-Final.pdf

This analysis has been confirmed by the latest pronouncements by Health officials - 500 unique healthcare provider users a month?

Pat Gallagher said...

Bollocks indeed.
In the real world IT 'experts' don't make things happen unless the user base welcomes and accepts the change and resulting benefit of the new technology application. Change happens from the bottom up - it never works, when imposed by boffins on high, as in the case of the PCEHR. to blame the doctors, nurses and others is pure rocking horse manure

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

Lots of solutions but no agreed problems.

Most of the solutions just try to automate what currently happens now - dumb record keeping.

The real problems lie in changing current practices and behaviors.

Until someone or some groups a) recognise this and b) start thinking about it, no progress is going to happen.

Most if not all the current "solutions" are part of the old world. Nobody has any idea what the new world could or should be.

Implementing random solutions hoping something useful might come of them is a very inefficient way of making progress. There are better ways. Unfortunately, the IT driven approach is not one of them.

The evidence is in the numbers.

Anonymous said...

Such a cop out to blame the users for the PCEHRS not being used.
It's Project Management 101 - not!
Let's face it, DOHA and NEHTA suck at planning and implementing projects.
Let them do policy - and trust the real work to the real world.