Pulse+IT Poll: August 1 – Hedging our bets

It's a tough job for anyone to take up the reins at a new government agency and smooth over the ruffled feathers and lingering cynicism of the past few years in Australia eHealth so perhaps it's a blessing for new Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) CEO Tim Kelsey that not many people are aware of his existence.

Mr Kelsey was appointed to the top job at the ADHA just over a week ago in what came as a surprise move on behalf of the agency's board, nominating not just a newcomer to the country but one with a bit of baggage. Mr Kelsey is set to take up the high-profile role guiding the My Health Record program forward some time next week.

We asked readers whether they thought Mr Kelsey would have much ability to positively influence the roll-out of eHealth initiatives in Australia as ADHA head.

In this week's poll, we asked:

Do you think new ADHA CEO Tim Kelsey will be able to positively influence the roll-out of eHealth initiatives?

The results as at COB on Monday, August 8 were as follows:

Do you think new ADHA CEO Tim Kelsey will be able to positively influence the roll-out of eHealth initiatives?
Edition Yes No Tim who? Total
Tuesday 16 (25%) 18 (29%) 29 (46%) 63
Wednesday 18 (31%) 17 (29%) 24 (41%) 59
Thursday 12 (34%) 11 (31%) 12 (34%) 35
Friday 9 (32%) 10 (36%) 9 (32%) 28
Monday 3 (20%) 3 (20%) 9 (60%) 15
Total 58 (29%) 59 (30%) 83 (42%) 200

As the results show, about equal numbers agree or disagree that Mr Kelsey will have a positive effect on eHealth but a small majority don't know who the new kid is. We'd be willing to bet that some of those who answered yes or no aren't really familiar with him either but are either cynics or hoping for the best.

Mr Kelsey has been notably described by one NHS chief clinical information officer as a “Marmite character” – you either like him or you don't – so we'll see how he adapts to the Australian industry and whether he morphs into a Vegemite man.

All eyes will be on him as a revised national eHealth strategy is finalised and released, hopefully in November, just as the evaluations of the opt-out trials of the My Health Record are being readied for submission to the minister.

To paraphrase the PM, it has never been a more exciting time to be the head of the Australian Digital Health Agency.

This week's Pulse+IT Poll question is: If you use clinical software or a hospital EMR, where do you sit on a sliding scale from very happy to not happy at all?

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Tags: ADHA, eHealth, Tim Kelsey

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