Wednesday, May 16, 2012

ABC Radio National Covers The Roll Out Of the NEHRS (PCEHR) and The Report Is Pretty Sceptical.

The following segment was heard on The World Today at around lunchtime.
12:18:00 17/05/2012
The Australian Medical Association says 'all singing, all dancing' patient controlled electronic health records won't be available, when the new system starts in July. The AMA's president Dr Steve Hambleton says he suspects most practices don't have the right software to use the system. The Government says it's already paid millions to help doctors upgrade their systems
 You can download the audio for the story from this link.
As always there will be a transcript available - probably by the time you read this.
This report seems to follow up on a couple of speeches at a conference made by the Health Minister and the AMA President. Here is a report of what went on.

E-health rollout likely to be slow: Labor

  • From: AAP
  • May 16, 2012 5:17PM
FEDERAL Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has admitted the take up of electronic health records will likely be slow in the first few years.
People can register to have an e-health record from July, however, doctors have long argued the opt-in system could prove problematic.
"There are only so many times doctors are going to stop and look to see if their patient has opted in and given them access to their personally-controlled electronic health record (PCEHR)," Australian Medica Association (AMA) president Steve Hambleton said.
"If doctors were to find most of their patients had a PCEHR they would be more likely to keep using the system."
Dr Hambleton and Ms Plibersek both addressed a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) health forum in Melbourne.
The minister used her speech to spruik the benefits of e-health, including a reduction in medication mix-ups and less duplication of clinical tests.
But Ms Plibersek said while the digital "foundations" would be ready by July 1 the e-health journey wouldn't be completed overnight.
"It's not just a matter of flicking a switch and away you go," she told the forum.
"We've always said the rollout of the national e-health system would be in gradual, carefully managed phases."
More here:
There is really nothing new in all this - rather we have final confirmation that come June 30 what we will actually have is a PCLES (Personally Controlled Largely Empty Shell)  and that the AMA is still of the view that the approach being adopted won’t do much for years - if ever.
It is worth noting that as far as foundations are concerned it is by no means clear they are finished either. Who I ask has obtained their NASH certificate and token to facilitate access to the system and who has received software from their provider to access the system?
Worse than all this just where is the roll-out plan that covers the period after June 30, 2012? It really is about time this information was public - it should have been months ago.
One really does wonder just why it is taking $476M + $35M up to June 30 to get to such an inconclusive outcome. I am sure the Senate Estimates Process will be seeking answers to just that question in a week or two.