ITAC: DoH belatedly agrees to release PCEHR Pathfinder project

The results of the aged care Pathfinder project, set up in 2012 to investigate what systems and processes would be required to get the aged care sector using the PCEHR, will finally be released almost two years after a report was presented to the Department of Health.

Aged Care Industry IT Council (ACIITC) chairman Suri Ramanathan told the ITAC conference in Hobart today that a series of fact sheets advising aged care providers on how best to roll out the system would be released in the next few days and would be available on the council's website.

This is despite a Department of Health spokeswoman telling Pulse+IT last week that the report, while useful, had only been used internally within the department to inform its eHealth agenda.

The project was first announced in June 2012 and involved aged care software vendors Leecare, EOS Technologies (ComCare) and AutumnCare. The three vendors worked with aged care provider RSL Care to study how the PCEHR could potentially benefit aged care providers and how the industry could integrate it into future models of care.

Led by the then Aged Care Association Australia (ACAA, now LASA), the idea was also to generate lessons learned from adopting PCEHR standards and understand what business process changes would be required to maximise the benefits of PCEHR integration.

It aimed to provide a guide to aged care providers on how to implement the system and roll it out to residents.

It also involved work on developing a roadmap for future IT deployments in aged care, which eventually became the Digital Care Services IT blueprint, developed by the ACIITC and Accenture, which was released in March.

Mr Ramanathan said that while the blueprint was launched with much fanfare at Parliament House in Canberra, there was silence for some months afterwards. However, he said it was noticeable that more people were reading it recently, and in the meantime, the department had given the council approval to publish the Pathfinder fact sheets.

These will provide a toolkit for aged care providers to start implementing the system, and vendors could use the guidelines as well, he said.

Posted in Aged Care

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