Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Pharmacy Guild Seems To Think They Are The Sole Driver Of E-Health. I Wonder Do They Know What It Means?

This appeared today. Note bold sentences.

Expanding pharmacists’ roles “common sense”: Guild

Empowering community pharmacists to provide more services will help ease waiting times experienced by patients looking to see a GP, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia believes.
Responding to issues raised in the National Health Performance Authority’s Healthy Communities report, which highlighted that up to 28 per cent of patients at Medicare Locals across Australia experienced “longer than acceptable” waiting times to see a GP, Kos Sclavos, Guild national president, said pharmacists could reduce doctors’ workload if they were allowed to broaden their scope of practice.
“Areas should be explored to expand the areas of pharmacy practice to reduce doctor access issues for patients,” he said.
“This is just common sense. We need national solutions that ensure all patients across Australia have equal access [to health care].
While pharmacy-based telehealth services have been recommended as a potential way of improving patient access to GP services, Mr Sclavos told Pharmacy News they were not viable, because doctors had failed to adopt electronic health programs and services.
“E-health at present, including telehealth will not bridge the gap [in patient access], because the medical profession is not embracing e-health.
“This is despite significant financial incentives being in place.”
Lots more here:
I have been sent a rebuttal to this view - sadly anonymous - but the sentiment is clear.
INTERCEPTED LETTER to President Pharmacy Guild of Australia
Dear Mr Sclavos
The entire Australian medical profession is stunned by your blatant accusation in the 7 March Pharmacy News that the "medical profession is not embracing e-health".  Even more stunned when one reads in the 1 March Pharmacy News that you account for the low uptake of the PCEHR as being due to doctor inaction.  To add insult to injury you also claim that a "stunning 3.5 million e-health prescription records per week as eScripts" has been achieved solely as a result of the work of the Pharmacy Guild and eRx.
It is to be hoped that you will reconsider your views and put the record straight.  Promoting blatant falsehoods is not conducive to promoting cooperation and positive working relationships between doctors and pharmacists.
You well know Mr Sclavos that the PCEHR uptake is not a function of doctor inaction but an outcome of NEHTA's monolithic system, simply not working and not providing any useful benefits.
You also know that the medical profession has widely embraced e-health over many decades, to the point that Australian medical practices are more computerised than in any other country in the world.
Finally, it will not be news to you that the stunning 3.5 million e-health prescription records being processed each week as e-scripts has been achieved  because medical practices have predominantly been using MediSecure to send their escripts across the net to the MediSecure ScriptVault and to a much lesser extent the eRx Script Exchange.
Your reluctance to acknowledge the commitment and involvement of doctors, medical practices and MediSecure in being the major contributors to the stunning achievement you so aptly describe of 3.5 million escripts per week being processed over the Internet leads one to ponder how much further advanced  we all would be without your help! 
eHealth advocates for all Australians
----- End Letter.
I have to say I do think the Pharmacy Guild has rather too many tickets on themselves both in importance and role in Health IT (who knows what anyone means by e-Health with any precision). Of course it is pretty clear MediSecure might have had a hand in assembling the response......nevertheless....
I guess I will be accused of being another e-Health denier - and worse a doctor  - but so be it!
I have to say the I did love this para.
“You well know Mr Sclavos that the PCEHR uptake is not a function of doctor inaction but an outcome of NEHTA's monolithic system, simply not working and not providing any useful benefits.”
Too true!. Let the discussion as to who has the correct perspective begin.