One year on: update on PCEHR facts and figures

Consumer registrations for the PCEHR reached 320,865 as of last week, with up to 8000 new registrations occurring each day, figures from the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) show.

The department had hoped that registrations would reach 500,000 by June 30, but it seems that at the current rate, a total of 400,000 is more likely, one year on from the launch of the system.

The figures also show that there are 4022 healthcare organisations registered in the PCEHR system, along with 4684 individual providers (HPI-Is) for whom authorisation links have been established with one or more of these organisations.

That 4684 does not represent the total number of healthcare practitioners able to use the system, however, as the majority can do so through their clinical software.

A DoHA spokesperson said only healthcare provider organisations need to register to participate in the PCEHR, not the individual healthcare providers.

“Once a provider organisation, such as a GP surgery or hospital, registers with the eHealth record system, individual healthcare professionals are authorised to access the system on behalf of that organisation through their clinical system,” the spokesperson said.

Those who have been given authorisation links are clinicians that are accessing the system through the provider portal rather than directly through clinical software, the spokesperson said.

“The healthcare professionals who want to access the system through the PCEHR Provider Portal need to be linked to their organisation. Most professionals will use clinical systems, which is why the number of linked HPI-Is is low compared to provider registrations.”

Individual clinicians who can access the system through their clinical software are listed in the Healthcare Provider Directory (HPD), managed by the Department of Human Services (DHS).

A DHS spokesperson said that as of June 12, 12,598 individual healthcare providers and healthcare provider organisations were listed in the HPD.

The number of software vendors that have completed the necessary notice of connection and conformance, compliance and accreditation (CCA) processes and can access the production PCEHR system has also grown.

According to DoHA, there are now 26 vendors with authorisation, including 14 that market clinical information systems used by GPs. These are listed on NEHTA's ePIP product register.

There are also two pharmacy software vendors that can use the system – Fred IT and Simple Retail – and four aged care vendors.

A NEHTA spokesperson said iCareHealth, Leecare, DCA and EOS Technologies have passed NOC and CCA for read-only access to the PCEHR, while iCareHealth, Leecare and DCA have also done so for read and write access to the PCEHR.

EOS Technologies CEO Allan Turner said the company was in the process of certifying for CCA, which he hoped to have booked soon.

DoHA said six vendors that market systems used in a hospital setting have also passed their NOC and CCA. Pulse+IT is awaiting more information on which vendors are included in this group.

Close to 2000 shared health summaries have been uploaded to the PCEHR, along with approximately 450 discharge summaries.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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