Wednesday, December 26, 2012

NEHTA’s View Of Just How Well It Is All Going. Not Sure I Am Quite So Sanguine!

This popped up today. It is vital we all know just how NEHTA is seeing itself.
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From: Nafiza Hai [] On Behalf Of Clinical Leads Secretariat
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 11:27 AM
To: Clinical Leads Secretariat
Subject: End of Year Message from Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, NEHTA
Dear all,
As we approach the end of the year I’d like to take this opportunity to re-cap on the significant progress made by NEHTA and its partners in eHealth.
2012 has been a challenging year - and what has been achieved is remarkable. The rewards from achieving what we are striving for in the future is exciting, innovative and will benefit all Australians in many dimensions.
The National E-Health Transition Authority was established seven years ago and we have now designed and built many of the component “Building Blocks” for eHealth. These include the Healthcare Identifiers (HI) Service; national infrastructure specifications for eDischarge, eReferral, eSpecialist letters and the Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions; and the National Clinical Terminology and Information Service.
1 July 2012 marked the commencement of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record or national eHealth record system. Consumer registrations have commenced started and strenuous efforts are being made to register clinicians, starting in General Medical Practice but noting the need to connect the whole clinical community in due course.  
Key target groups who will benefit from more coordinated healthcare and sharing of health information include those with specific needs: older Australians, those with chronic or complex diseases, mothers with newborn babies, Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people, and Australians living in remote communities.
We are working determinedly to ensure Secure Message Delivery (SMD) is in place, is standards compliant and connects between systems and providers. Any healthcare practitioner is able to connect up the care they provide electronically today using SMD: this gives them an “in” into the system, provides “electronic information” and the same requirements for SMD when met will allow the national eHealth record system to be used. This is very important within GP practice, but much more so in the “out of hospital” and primary care sector – in particular between sectors: most difficulties arise at the interfaces of care. We are supporting the sector in taking up the system. 
As we continue to progress broader eHealth initiatives, we will also be working with the hospital sector: in-patient, emergency and out-patient areas in particular. The prescription and dispensing of medications is another known need and therefore a target for the sector. Excellent, clinically driven medications management is key to the national infrastructure and the safety and quality in healthcare agenda.
We now look forward to building on the progress made this year. What we have achieved to date has been to bring together multiple IT platforms to read from and write to the national eHealth record system in the same way – this is a massive change in use of technology and a great leap in “joining up the dots” in the healthcare sector. 
NEHTA’s focus in 2013 is to continue to develop and rollout the national infrastructure and adoption support required for eHealth in Australia and to support the health sector’s transition to the effective use of eHealth.  We will also continue to develop specifications and standards for other conforming health sector participants to connect the national eHealth records system.
None of this would be possible without the dedication and collaboration of our partners, core funders and stakeholders. From January 2011 to July 2012, NEHTA facilitated or was involved in over 730 meetings, workshops and conferences, communicating with thousands of people from around 500 different stakeholder organisations.
I would like to thank all those who contributed over the year, in workshops, forums, focus groups, reference groups or were just advocates of our work.  We look forward to continuing a respectful, responsive, collaborative approach to improve our understanding of our stakeholders’ needs and to support them in contributing to and being part of the national eHealth agenda.
Now the journey continues – to strive for better healthcare, safer health outcomes, and meaningful use of the emerging eHealth record system.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season, and a very successful new year!
Dr Mukesh C Haikerwal AO
General Practitioner
Chair of the Council of the World Medical Association
Head of Clinical Leadership, Stakeholder Management & Clinical Safety, NEHTA
Professor, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Science, Flinders University, Adelaide
Broadband Champion (DBCDE)
19th President, Australian Medical Association
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I leave it to you all to comment on how you feel about these claims of such wonderful success and delivery.
Back to sleep again!