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Let's make e-health workable

With the Government’s much anticipated e-health initiative launched on 1 July, AMA Victoria is calling for more support for doctors faced with the challenge of setting the system up.
From September 2012, the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) will allow doctors to create shared health summaries listing patients’ diagnoses, medications, allergies and vaccinations for use in future diagnoses and treatment.
AMA Victoria Vice President Dr Tony Bartone says that while there is tremendous potential in the PCEHR, the program needs to be resourced in a manner which encourages public participation and ensures doctors are able to meet the needs of the system.
“We need to create a system which people feel comfortable signing up to, this means ensuring the integrity of people’s information, making it easy to join up to, and not penalising doctors for putting the work in to set it up” said Dr Bartone “These issues have not been addressed adequately so far”.
“We’ve seen serious concerns raised about the security of patient information in the PCEHR, and it's not possible for users to sign up to the record online”.
The AMA has called for a review of timelines for the PCEHR implementation to allow general practices more time to contend with the demands of implementing the system".
“Test sites for the PCEHR system were afforded a significant amount of assistance over and above that which will be extended to general practices which will be rolling the system out”.
“Contrary to helping practices set up, the government is using the approach of removing e-health Practice Incentive Payments for GPs that can’t meet their timelines”.
“There is a need to recognise the strain on already overworked doctors to create these records, and ensure that resources exist to bring IT systems up to date”.
“We support the principles on which the PCEHR is based, but do not support it in its current form”.
For more information please contact Struan Robertson on 0437 450 506

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