e-Health records blueprint released

A national blueprint for the development of e-health records to be launched on 1 July 2012 has been released.


Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said the release of the blueprint was a major step forward for national health reform and the development of personally controlled electronic health records (PCEHR).


She said, “E-health is one of the critical elements of the Government’s efforts to modernise our health system through national health reform.”


“Patients will no longer have to remember every immunisation, every medical test, every prescription as they move from doctor to doctor.


“This national blueprint, and the consultation and development that will follow, will help to develop e-health records for all Australians who want one from 1 July 2012.”


The draft Concept of Operations document was released on 12 April 2011 and describes how the PCEHR system will work, its benefits, the structure and the important privacy principles. The release is intended to prompt further discussion on its design and input into areas that require further discussion and development.


e-health is intended to help address the fragmentation of medical records which exist across a vast array of different system—paper and electronic—with no single secure solution to share records when sharing is needed to save lives.


“In the 21st century, patients should be able to visit their local GP, their specialist or emergency department and know their health records are available at a click of a button, if they want them to be,” Ms Roxon said.


The release comes one week after the Government announced nine new projects that will lead the development e-health records for up to 500,000 Australians before the wider roll out of e-health records from 1 July 2012.


The Concept of Operations, which was developed following extensive consultation with patient groups, the health and IT sectors, and other Governments and stakeholders, will be a ‘living document’ as the complex challenges of design, governance, policy and adoption continue to be shaped by informed, practical views.


Feedback on the draft Concept of Operations may be submitted at http://yourhealth.gov.au until 31 May 2011. Feedback will be consolidated and the draft Concept of Operations will be updated to take account of stakeholder opinions.


12 April 2011.