Tuesday, December 01, 2015
I Wonder What The RACGP Is Going To Do About Its Concerns Regarding The PCEHR?
This appeared last week:
24 November 2015
THE government is set to introduce changes to the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) eHealth Incentive to encourage ‘active and meaningful use’ of the myHealth Record (formally PCEHR).
To receive the ePIP, it is likely practices will have to meet targets for the uploading of shared health summaries (SHS) to the myHealth Record.
The RACGP argues these proposed changes are misguided.
Not only will they fail to deliver ‘active and meaningful use’ but they represent a missed opportunity to reform the ePIP in ways that would truly support the vision for a shared national electronic health record.
The advent of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) in 2012 was heralded as a national system. It was proposed to ‘enable people to share their health information with their healthcare providers’, it says in its annual report.
A national electronic health record system has the potential to address the fragmentation of health information and deliver significant benefits for both the healthcare provider and healthcare consumer. This is especially in urgent and unscheduled care situations.
Providing access to an individual’s health information via the myHealth Record has the potential to improve the availability and quality of health information.
It should improve the coordination and quality of healthcare delivered to patients.
However, for this vision to be achieved, information in the record must be of sufficient quality to be useful, and the platform used to facilitate the sharing of this information must be safe and efficient.
In its present state, the myHealth Record fails to deliver on both.
The government’s proposed ePIP changes will do little to address these failings.
It is not clear what the value is in uploading a GP’s local health summary to the myHealth Record.
A GP who is the patient’s regular care provider will have the most accurate, complete, timely, safe, consistent, appropriate and relevant information.
But GPs have traditionally managed their patient records in ways that have worked for them and their practice.
There has not been a need or requirement for this information to be in a format suitable for transferring and sharing for a range of other purposes.
It’s just another bureaucratic compliance measure.
In summary the RACGP is concerned regarding the quality of information in the PCEHR, the value added for the GP by the PCEHR and the risk that the PCEHR becomes a compliance and not a clinical too. To that we have to add the revelation that the purpose of the PCEHR is not to improve care but to provide a huge database to be mined to get more practitioner control and compliance.
My feeling is that the AMA and the RACGP need to have some pretty intense ‘behind closed doors’ with Government to re-focus where e-Health is going and what it is to do.
Clearly the DoH has a vision for e-Health which is not actually aligned in any way with what clinicians expect.
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Tuesday, December 01, 2015