Authentication service not ready for PCEHR launch
The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) has confirmed that the National Authentication Service for Health (NASH), a key plank in the development of the government's national eHealth system, will not be ready for the PCEHR's official launch on July 1.
IBM Australia was awarded $23.6 million in March 2011 to build NASH, which will issue digital credentials to healthcare providers, including digital certificates managed through the Public Key Infrastructure and secured by tokens such as smartcards.
The credentials are required to validate identity when used to access the eHealth systems the government is building as part of its national eHealth records project.
The 2011 agreement contracted IBM to use its hardware, software and services capabilities to manage the project delivery of the NASH system for Australia’s healthcare providers. This included industry and technology consulting expertise, security and access management technologies, and IT infrastructure management services.
NEHTA's part in the agreement was to provide a software development kit (SDK) to allow existing healthcare systems and deployments to integrate with NASH. The SDK is also not ready for the PCEHR launch.
NEHTA CEO Peter Fleming said in a statement that the delayed delivery of the NASH program from IBM “will have no impact on the launch” of the PCEHR in two weeks or the ability for consumers to register for an eHealth record.
Mr Fleming said arrangements had been put in place to provide an interim NASH delivered by the Department of Human Services to enable the eHealth records system to launch and begin operations as planned.
"NEHTA will work closely with our key vendors involved in the eHealth sites program to roll out the interim NASH to allow the launch to go ahead as planned,” he said.
"Australians will be able to register for an eHealth record in July as intended," he said.
Posted in Australian eHealth