AMA rejects registration rules for PCEHR

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has called on the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) to reconsider its approach to the proposed conditions for registration of healthcare providers for the PCEHR.

In a strongly worded letter to the assistant secretary of the eHealth strategy and legislation section of DoHA, AMA general secretary Francis Sullivan has warned the department that the AMA would advise its members not to register for the PCEHR unless the proposed conditions were changed.

The proposed conditions of registration have been distributed to healthcare provider organisations for review under strict confidentiality provisions but were leaked to the Medical Observer newspaper last week.

In the letter to DoHA, the AMA wrote that the proposed registration conditions “place extraordinary obligations on healthcare provider organisations for matters that are largely out of their control”.

“As they currently stand, the conditions of registration will deter every medical practice in Australia from participating in the PCEHR system,” Mr Sullivan said. “The AMA is very disappointed that the Department has seen fit to take this approach.”

The letter suggests that healthcare providers would be liable for failures and breaches of the PCEHR, not the system operator, which is the department itself.

It also appears that DoHA will require the ability to enter practices and search records in cases where breaches have occurred.

“If the conditions remain in their current form, the AMA would advise its members not to register,” Mr Sullivan wrote.

“The Department must reconsider the approach it has taken. Conditions of registration should be the minimum necessary to ensure the appropriate participation in the use of the PCEHR system.

“If the burden to comply with conditions of registration is too great, and detracts from the core business of providing safe quality healthcare, healthcare provider organisations will not be prepared to take the first steps to using the PCEHR.”

A spokesman for the AMA said the organisation's full submission to the proposed conditions was embedded in the confidential document and was therefore not available for public viewing. He said the AMA had not leaked the submission but had made the covering letter from Mr Sullivan available.

Pulse+IT has requested a copy of the proposed regulations from DoHA.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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