North Queensland EMR to follow NT's example

The electronic medical record being planned for far north Queensland is likely to be similar to that which has been successfully implemented for remote communities in the Northern Territory, industry sources have told Pulse+IT.

Queensland recently won a grant of $35 million from the federal government to build the new EMR and to improve eHealth infrastructure in the region, which encompasses the Torres Strait, Cairns and the north-western region of the state.

Queensland Health would not reveal the name of a preferred vendor for the solution or whether a tender process will be undertaken. Industry sources have told Pulse+IT that Cerner's Millennium platform has been chosen for the statewide EMR that Queensland is building under its $243 million eHealth strategy, but it is not clear whether Cerner will be contracted for the north Queensland project.

Queensland Health's chief information officer, Ray Brown, said securing the federal funding meant the department will be able to build on the recent rollout of its The Viewer EMR viewing solution.

The Viewer is a read-only web-based application that provides consolidated information on patient data from existing Queensland Health systems in one place. It was rolled out to the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Health Service District in April.

Mr Brown said the in-house built solution allowed Queensland Health facilities across the state to have a consolidated view of summary patient information at the point of care.

“This solution lays the foundation for the delivery of an electronic medical record to 12 Queensland Health primary and community health facilities in Far North Queensland,” he said.

“Through a ‘Closing the Gap’ initiative, work has already commenced to assess the future requirements of an electronic medical record for Far North Queensland.

“It is being undertaken in consultation with regions such as the Northern Territory who have already completed a similar project.”

He also said the new EMR will be designed to link to the PCEHR. “As Queensland Health are aligned with NEHTA (National eHealth Transition Authority) standards, it is envisaged that the solution will ultimately link into the federal government’s plans for a personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR),” he said.

“Queensland Health is committed to ensuring that the solution that is introduced is a sustainable, effective option and meets the needs of the primary and community health settings in Far North Queensland.”

Posted in Australian eHealth

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