Tuesday, March 28, 2017
The AMA Points Out Some Home Truths On What Is Needed From The National Digital Health Strategy.
This appeared last week.
17 Mar 2017
The proposed national digital health strategy should be a simple, straightforward list of proposed projects and their benefits, rather than a high-level strategy document, Australia’s peak doctors’ body says.
In its submission to the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA), the AMA says it has long advocated for a strategic plan for digital health.
But it warns that clinicians must be involved in both the development of the proposed National Digital Health Strategy (NDHS) and its implementation, saying too many e-health projects around the world have failed because they were developed without consultation with the people who had to use them.
“The AMA is aware of the long track record, both locally and internationally, of e-health projects falling over for failing to consider the social aspects of development and implementation,” the AMA says.
“If no other lessons have been learnt from Australia’s approach to e-health, clearly a ‘build it and they will come’ approach, without coalface clinical involvement, will fail.”
Clinician involvement must not stop at the ‘strategy’ level.
“There is a need for co-produced development and operational plans so providers can see where critical services are heading, over what time frame, and what this means for them,” the AMA said.
“Many doctors and other healthcare providers have a level of scepticism about high level strategy documents, preferring instead to have access to a simple, clear, prioritised and costed list of projects, with tangible products and benefits able to be understood by the non-technocrat.”
The AMA also said that the strategy should have a more balanced and complete coverage of all health practitioners’ needs, compared to the historic over-emphasis on patient-controlled health records – the My Health Record (MyHR) - and support for e-health in general practice.
“This must include specific support for medical specialists other than GPs to take up digital health, including but not limited to the MyHR,” it said.
“The NDHS should also clearly acknowledge that digital health has important and direct implications for the way health care is organised, for health financing and funding, and for existing payment models.
You can read the full submission from this link:
It is really useful to read the AMA’s summary of their seven page submission. The points made on the directional and clinician related aspects seemed pretty good to me, including their point on the rather overbalanced emphasis currently in evidence regarding the myHR. (Comments on the commercial aspects of digital health I will leave to others).
I also note their frustration as well as the recognition of just how difficult all this all is!
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Tuesday, March 28, 2017