Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Peak IT Industry Lobby Reveals It Is Not Really In Touch With The Grassroots of E-Health. Pretty Sad.

This little pearler turned up here today.

ICT industry plays key role delivering electronic health records

The Australian Information Industry Association says that the key role played by the organisation’s members in bringing secure, accessible and affordable health care to all Australians through secure Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR) is now more clearly understood with the release of a major government report into electronic health records, tabled by the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee.
The AIIA’s CEO, Suzanne Campbell, has welcomed the committee's report, saying that it was major step towards full implementation of PCEHR. "Shared electronic health records will greatly facilitate access to health care across Australia, and ensure that no matter where you are health professionals will have access to your full medical history," Campbell says.
"In many cases this will quite literally be a life saver as critical time in emergency situations will be saved with the medical records being instantly accessible.
According to Campbell, the inquiry found the current paper-based health-care system is fragmented, resulting in mistakes and duplication, and she says that some witnesses had raised concerns about “lack of transparency” in the proposed PCEHR governance system, as well as “poor functionality of PCEHRs which might compromise a successful rollout.” The inquiry noted however, that clinical and patient safety issues raised by some were due to a level of confusion among those stakeholders.
Lots more here:
This really is an astonishing set of comments. To date precisely nothing has been delivered and for some reason that the AIIA seems unable to grasp there are even some who are a little sceptical about the correctness of what is being done - including the Federal Opposition, The AMA and the MSIA. I don’t think for a moment these entities are ‘confused’.
The comments reported a really just a rather biased spruiking of the Government line. This is made even more odd by the fact that the information circulated to members was much more balanced and made it clear there were some ongoing concerns regarding the PCEHR project.
I wonder why there is no mention of the Opposition view on the project?
If and when the wheels come off - and that is by no means unlikely - the AIIA CEO might have wished she was a little more balanced in what she had reported as her views. Maybe getting more than a paediatric understanding of the complexities of e-Health could be a good plan going forward. What DoHA and NEHTA are doing does not, in any way, have consensus industry support - despite her claims.
Just representing the big end of town in IT, without really coming to grips with the risks and the nature of E-Health, is not smart in my view. As those of us a little closer to e-health know NEHTA and the PCEHR program has brought a diverse mix of good and bad to those at the coal face - some of whom for no good reason have been actively excluded from involvement to their distinct commercial disadvantage. Sadly their voices are too small to be heard but they are, funnily enough, those with much of Australia’s expertise in e-Health.
Coming out with unalloyed and uncritical enthusiasm suggests there other agendas at work. I wonder what they are?