Wednesday, March 02, 2016
The Pharmacy Guild And The AMA Are Talking At Crossed Purposes Regarding The mHR.
The AFR is continuing its interest in e-Health. This popped up in the Saturday Weekend paper.
by Ben Potter
Feb 26 2016 at 5:13 PM
Pharmacists and doctors are feuding over the federal government's struggling electronic My Health Record system.
The pharmacists' lobby chided doctors for failing to support My Health Record to help cut waste in the $155 billion healthcare sector. But the doctors' lobby said the system will not succeed in cutting waste because the rollout has been botched.
"We have all got to be in it – it's either all in or none in," said George Tambassis, national president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. Health spending is being targeted by health minister Sussan Ley.
Government data shows nearly half of medicines dispensed are wasted. Mr Tambassis said My Health Record could cut waste by identifying patients who were going to the doctor too often, doctor-shopping or pharmacy-shopping, doctors over-prescribing or pharmacies double-dispensing.
But he said all healthcare providers had to be on board for this to happen and there was no excuse for them to stay out, because technology problems such as security and interoperability had largely been solved.
He said pharmacies were already using technology to upload prescriptions into the cloud and track sales of over-the-counter products containing codeine and pseudoephedrine.
But he said they were unable to share the data among themselves or with doctors until My Health Record was more widely used.
Australian Medical Association president Brian Owler said the organisation backed e-health records as a way of controlling health costs, but the government had failed to ask medical specialists what they needed to make My Health Record work.
Professor Owler admitted many specialists did not use electronic health records, but said most medical practice software was aimed at GPs and was not suitable for specialist practices.
"Until we start to engage with people as to how it might work and the software vendors are on board, it's never going to work," he told AFR Weekend.
Professor Owler said My Health Record would not succeed in cutting waste in pharmaceuticals because while most GPs used electronic prescribing, some hospitals, specialists and other healthcare providers don't, and where they do, their software "doesn't talk to each other".
"The Pharmacy Guild owns chemist shops and they have point-of-sale systems, and they have electronic systems to print out the stickers, but that's a long way from our main interest, which is actually provision of care to patients."
Sadly both sides are both right and wrong. Waste will not be addressed by the mHR without a fundamental system re-design - as it is just a store of old prescription data rather than a system that interacts with the prescriber - and we already know that is not on the agenda.
We also know the AMA is not going to get seriously involved unless all the usability and workflow issues are resolved so that the system actually adds value rather than costs time!
All that said it is good to see the AFR taking an interest.
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Wednesday, March 02, 2016