Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Now This Is The Sort Of Thing The ADHA Should Be Sorting Out. I Wonder How Keen They Are?
This appeared last week:
By Megan Stoyles on August 18, 2017
Aged care, doctors and pharmacists groups are calling for seamless digital integration between aged care and health records.
Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council representative Rod Young has described Australia’s aged care services as “the forgotten sector” in the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) plan to deploy a universal health record for all Australians over the next two years.
“Aged care services are a missing piece of the health aged care electronic interface that requires urgent attention,” Mr Young told Australian Ageing Agenda.
“With 180,000 aged care residents at any one time, there are approximately 100,000 resident transfers between hospitals and aged care facilities each year, and at least 18 million medication prescribing events generated by GPs and delivered by community pharmacies.”
There would be significant workforce efficiencies in all three sectors if these events were conducted electronically, he said.
“The obvious next step is to ensure that the My Health Record and aged care clinical documentation can be used in a fully-integrated interface. The Department of Health must include aged care services in the roll out of an integrated health record,” Mr Young said.
The Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt said there was work going on to ensure My Health Record could deliver improved health outcomes for aged care residents.
However, the sector’s call’s for financial support to connect to the e-health record system, such as other groups including GPs and private hospitals received, continue to go unanswered.
“While it is important for the primary and aged care sectors to work together to deliver health care services to older Australians they are funded by the Australian Government in different ways.
“As such the way that the Australian Government engages with these sectors to encourage the uptake of systems, such as My Health Record, will differ,” Minister Wyatt told AAA.
He said the Government would also be looking at future connection between the My Health Record and My Aged Care.
More on the issue is found here:
To see how this lack on integration is going to be addressed we go to the National Digital Health Strategy. Where aged care is mentioned it is in the context of telemonitoring and here (p41)
• “Improving quality of health services in residential aged care – When aged care residents are treated by aged care and healthcare professionals, there is often an “information gap”, with a lack of sharing of the older person’s information about health conditions and medicines135 between the two sectors. It has been demonstrated that digital health interventions for aged care residents can dramatically reduce the number of transfers into hospital.135
The aged care test bed will explore how digital health technologies can improve outcomes for Australians in residential aged care facilities.”
And maybe here (p 37):
“The aged care system in Australia is being reformed to ensure it is the best possible system, and to offer greater choice and flexibility for consumers.124 My Aged Care is the main entry point to the aged care system in Australia. The Australian Medical Association suggested
in their submission to the consultation process that the My Aged Care gateway should be combined with the My Health Record system to help give “a full and holistic view of all health and care providers involved in the patient’s care and what they are providing”.116 The Australian Digital Health Agency will work with My Aged Care to determine how
information in the My Health Record can help deliver on its vision to make it easier for older people, their families and carers to access information on ageing and aged care, have their needs assessed and be supported to locate and access services available to them.”
So what we have here is a clearly articulated problem – all the control of which lies with the Federal Health Department but somehow, despite some vague words, no commitment to just get moving and fix what is clearly a problem capable of solution at considerably less than any major cost.
The ADHA even says they know about the issue but then don’t simply say we will fix the problem as part of the strategic implementation.
I wonder just why that is?
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Wednesday, August 23, 2017