This blog is totally independent, unpaid and has only three major objectives.
The first is to inform readers of news and happenings in the e-Health domain, both here in Australia and world-wide.
The second is to provide commentary on e-Health in Australia and to foster improvement where I can.
The third is to encourage discussion of the matters raised in the blog so hopefully readers can get a balanced view of what is really happening and what successes are being achieved.
Quote Of The Year
Quotes Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"
H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."
Thursday, June 27, 2019
The ACT Says That The #myHealthRecord Is Not Good Enough And Plans To Do Better. Is It Smart And Will It Work?
When Jen Sutherland winds up in the emergency department in debilitating pain, she is often forced to relay to the staff a decade of complicated medical history before she can be treated.
The ACT plans to introduce a new single electronic system for patients
$70 million has been set aside to build and implement the system over the next four years
Chronic illness sufferers have welcomed the decision
The 27-year-old Canberran lives with Type 1 diabetes and endometriosis, juggling multiple medications, specialist appointments and tests each month.
And because Canberra's public health system uses a complex combination of digital systems and paper records, it can be difficult for clinical staff to access patients' medical information.
The burden is inevitably placed on the patient to keep track of their history.
Lots omitted ……
New system places responsibility on healthcare system
But this record-keeping tradition could become redundant under the ACT's plans to introduce a new single electronic system for patients, to be known as the Digital Health Record.
It would record all patient interactions, referrals, clinical observations and test results across the public health system.
The ACT Government has set aside $70 million over four years to build and implement the system, with another $35 million expected the following four years.
Denise said the move was long overdue.
"At the moment the onus is very much often on the patient to be managing their health information," she said.
"If you're really unwell, remembering things and staying on top of information like that is actually quite a bit ask and it adds a lot of stress to the job that is already a job of being chronically ill."
The disjointed system also presents challenges for doctors.
Matthew Cook, director of immunology at Canberra Hospital, said the new system would improve accuracy and efficiency.
"This is no one's fault at the moment but there are delays, there is missing information and there is redundancy," Professor Cook said.
"Sometimes test results aren't available and they're repeated because that's the only way to achieve those results."
Professor Cook said it was unreasonable to expect patients to provide details of their medical records.
"We would like to focus on the patient's experience of the illness and that's what we will be able to do more when we have more efficient and complete medical records," he said.
Digital database will contain more detail than My Health Record
The digital health record would not be opt-in, so any person who uses the public health system will have one.
Peter O'Halloran, ACT Health's chief information officer, said patients cannot currently opt out of having paper records either.
"We already have a medical record for every patient," he said.
"This is simply taking those records from a variety of digital systems and paper systems into one single digital system."
At first reading it looks like ACT Health is planning a #myHR on steroids with many of the downsides of the current manifestation – honey pot effect, widespread access and worse almost everyone included. There also does not seem to be any opt-out!
I am not sure this has been fully thought through. What do others think?