Federal Govt sheds light on next round of e-health record funding

The Federal Department of Health has revealed detailed plans for the third round of funding to be allocated to the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) next month for the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR).

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) told Computerworld Australia that negotiations around the funding were expected to be completed shortly as the scope of NEHTA’s activities for the rest of the initiative were finalised, but could not yet disclose the figure.

According to the spokesperson, the next round of funding will support the management of delivery partners to complete the build of the system, to implement strategies to for change and take-up of the PCEHR, and to support the e-health sites in implementing and testing aspects of e-health record.

The previous round of funding received by NEHTA was $50.5 million for the period from May to October 2011, with which the organisation has developed a plan for the delivery of the PCEHR, completed the draft standards and specifications for the e-health sites and produced the requirements for the PCEHR system itself.

NEHTA also used it to manage the national infrastructure partner, Accenture, in the planning and design of the system, the national change and adoption partner in the initial planning phase change and adoption of the PCEHR which included an assessment of impact on stakeholders and their readiness for the system.

The funding also aided the implementation at the 12 lead e-health sites, including the recruitment, registration of healthcare providers including hospitals and GPs and the retrieval of healthcare identifiers (HI) for use by medical practices.

The followed the initial $38.5 million allocated to support the project from November 2010 to April 2011.

A draft concept of operations document for the project, a document previously held back by health minister Nicola Roxon, was released in April.

The paper was to provide greater detail into the initiative’s construct and ongoing operations, but was criticised for a lack of clarity.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) recently launched revised information security standards and a workbook in order to prepare GPs for the $466.7 PCEHR.

RACGP National Standing Committee e-health chair, Dr John Bennett, told Computerworld Australia the college knew the project was coming and that it would place greater responsibility upon GPs and get them prepared.

“GPs will no longer be protecting just their information but also information that could potentially be entered by other parties including the patient,” Bennett said at the time.

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU


Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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