Monday, January 14, 2013

The Countdown Has Now Really Started For The NEHRS / PCEHR To Prove Itself Adoptable and Useable.

2013 is going to be the year that makes or breaks the NEHRS. A couple of key facts point me to this view.
First we need to have a Federal Election before the end of the year and I suspect the outcome of that election will result in a binary outcome for the NEHRS. If Labor is re-elected the project will go on - at a level yet to be determined - and we will probably reach the stage where it becomes some sort of fixture. On the other had if the Coalition wins I suspect there will be a fairly quick review followed by a determination that enough money has been burnt on the current approach and a revised plan is needed. It may or may or not be funded in the remaining life of that Government.
Second with the commencement of the new upgraded e-PIP requirements in early February and early May we will be able to assess late in 2013 just what impact that upgraded incentive program has had on adoption and use of the NEHRS.
Third it is clear that neither the AMA or the RACGP are entirely comfortable with the various requirements and deadlines that are being imposed. This is the latest I have seen from the AMA.

Renewed calls for e-PIP extension

11th Jan 2013
MANY GPs could lose their eligibility for the e-health Practice Incentive Program (e-PIP) unless the 1 February deadline for software compliance is extended, says the AMA.
Prior to Christmas, AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton was calling for an eleventh-hour delay in the cut-off for payments if doctors do not achieve software compliance – required under new legislation to remain eligible – by the deadline.
Under the new arrangements practices can apply online through the Department of Human Services National Authentication Service for certification that their software is compliant.
However, Dr Hambleton argued during the holiday period many doctors in non-compliant practices were away and would not have been able to do any work to complete this process.
In an AMA poll taken in December asking GPs if they will be ready to have the first of the four e-PIP requirements in place by 1 February, 67% of 139 respondents said they would not be ready with just 33% saying they would make the deadline.
Dr Hambleton told MO he predicted it would be some months until most GPs would be fully compliant and renewed his call for the government to extend the deadline until at least 80% to 90% of practices are ready.
More here
I also note a distinct lack of confidence in being ready has not changed - Results  of GP Poll 13/01/2013 :

Will your general practice have the first four ePIP requirements in place by 1 February 2013?

Yes 32% (48 votes)
No 68% (102 votes)
Total votes: 150
To not have the clinical actors all lined up, trained and confident bodes pretty badly for what we are going to be seeing in the next 12 months. The bottom line is that this change and adoption task has simply not been managed properly or adequately resourced in my view.
In summary the next 12 months look to me to be make or break for all sorts of reasons, including that covered in Monday’s blog.
Time will tell and I don’t think many of us will die wondering.