The 2019 Australian eHealth year in review: part two
The second quarter of the year kicked off with news that Tasmania was on its way to rolling out a statewide electronic referral system. Local firm Healthcare Software and secure messaging vendor HealthLink won a contract to develop standardised, statewide digital templates that can be auto-populated with key referral details from within GP practice management systems and sent to hospital outpatient departments as well as between private practitioners.
The system will be trialled by two outpatient departments and private providers for six months before being evaluated for a statewide roll-out. Later in the year, South Australia went to market for a similar system that will also handle SA Pathology's results messaging.
The federal budget was released in April due to the May federal election, and the government used it to announce $448.5 million over three years for a new electronic consulting model for patients with chronic diseases under a voluntary enrolment scheme. Initially aimed at people aged over 70, it will also be available for patients with high needs and will allow GPs to provide consultations, referrals, scripts and test results remotely, with usual services continuing to be rebatable for the patient under Medicare. It is due to come into effect in July 2020.
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