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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Australia's Personally Controlled E-Health Record system starts

I have been interested in following the development of this.  It is a national architecture for an electronically personally controlled health record system.  The recent demise of the UK system suggests that large national architectures don't always do well.  To my knowledge Canada does not have nor is planning such an architecture.  Alberta has the backbone infrastructure to use one, through their Myhealth system. I am not at all sure about eHealth Ontario.

The PCEHR, accessed by the patient and his or her authorised healthcare providers, is a electronic record of patient’s medical history, stored and shared in a network of connected systems.
Managed by the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) on behalf of the Department of Health and Ageing, the PCEHR reform agenda will save the Australian government and related agencies US$11.5 billion over 15 years.
These saving stem from expanded use of health information management systems, on-line registration capabilies, improved information-sharing between healthcare providers, and consolidated patient record-keeping programmes.
Initially, consumers can register for the e-Health system using a dedicated 1800 number.
An on-line registration website is being finalised by the Australian Department of Health and Ageing, enabling citizens to register on-line through a dedicated portal.
The PCEHR offers an opt-in system, however it is still unclear how this opt-in system will work.
The PCEHR legislation clarifies guidelines about who can enter health information and who can read or change this information. Among these guidelines, patients can access their own e-Health record. They can also track who else has accessed their record.
Patients can upgrade their privacy settings to suit personal needs. But only doctors, or other health professionals, will be alllowed to create medical notes on a patient’s file.
Users who sign up for an eHealth record will no longer have to repeat their medical history each time they see a different GP or other healthcare professional.