803 sign up in PCEHR's first week

Over 800 people registered for a PCEHR in its first week of operation, either by telephone, online or in person at a Medicare shopfront, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Ageing said.

Online registration is now possible through the ehealth.gov.au website, with the system functioning well over the weekend despite some glitches earlier in the week.

Pulse+IT reported last week that the call centre for registration was constantly busy, but that had resolved itself later in the week and calls are being answered promptly now.

DoHA had been circumspect about when online registration would be fully functional, but people who have an australia.gov.au account and who have linked that to the Medicare Online service should be able to have their identities verified quickly through an easy to navigate single sign-on system.

The consumer portal for the PCEHR, powered by Orion Health's Concerto platform, currently only includes information such as name and date of birth, and only allows users to add notes to their personal health diary – which is not seen by health practitioners – and to add emergency contact and next of kin details.

It is understood that the provider portal, also being built by Orion Health, will be available for practitioner use as PCEHR-compatible software is rolled out to GPs, which is expected to begin next month or in September.

Posted in Australian eHealth


0 # Albert Haddock 2012-07-10 15:39
Not with a bang but a whimper!!

At that rate it would take over 500 years to register the current Australian population.

But you would need to register over 6000 per week just to keep pace the population increase.
0 # John 2012-07-11 11:04
Wow it's hard to sign up. At 18 minutes and not knowing the correct spelling of the last name of the last specialist I had visited (5 years ago), I give up trying to sign up.

500 years - At 18 mins a piece, 6.2 million hours would have been spent doing it.
0 # Anon 2012-07-11 11:13
I just tried to register online! I have now got an allocated number on www.australia.gov.au - with absolutely 0 personal details in it and not linked to any services yet. I was not asked for mandatory information at all. It's only taken 15 minutes so far. this is not user friendly - in the 2nd step - you receive an error - written in 'developer speak' which tells you the system doesn't accommodate spaces after your text.

Back to the drawing board guys!
0 # SJ 2012-07-11 12:04
It's becoming apparent that if you already have a Medicare Online account and have this linked to your Australia.Gov.a u account before attempting to link to the 'National eHealth Records System', it all works quite smoothly. I signed up this morning with the aforementioned credentials in place and it was fairly straight forward.

If it's all too hard, you're probably better off waiting for a few weeks while the gremlins are being sorted out .... after all once you register, there's nothing meaningful you can do with your record and this is likely to be the case for 2-3 more months I suspect.
0 # Anon 2012-07-11 13:26
I have been trying to verify my ID with Medicare for the last half an hour - I get to the section about adding my last GP appointment and I get an error - how long til I give up?
0 # Anon 2012-07-14 09:12
None of the above criticisms actually relate to the PCEHR system.

Worth noting that registration is a three step process. Step 1 involves creating an australia.gov.a u account. Step 2 involves verifying your identity online. Both of these steps leverage existing Australian Government infrastructure and are common whether you're looking to access your Medicare account or DVA account (or other Government agencies in time). Only Step 3 is new and specific to the PCEHR system. Once you have an Australia.gov.a u account and have verified your identity online, you can create an electronic health record. It took me just over 5 minutes to do this for myself and around 2 minutes for each of my children.

Looks like the above people had difficulties with Steps 1 and 2. Worth remembering that this can done in person at a Medicare shopfront or via phone if people find the Australian Government's gateway too difficult to navigate. That said, a lot of people are clearly managing to do it.
0 # SJ 2012-07-14 09:32
All true but you can't get to Step 3 if you can't navigate Steps 1 and 2, so they're not as neatly 'separatable' from the PCEHR system as you're presenting.

I had a similar experience to you, but only because I had a Medicare Online account setup several years ago...can't imagine the number of Australians with such access in place is very high but happy to be corrected.

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