ePIP product register goes live
The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) has launched an online PIP eHealth Product Register to allow clinical software vendors to register their products as conforming with the five requirements for the new eHealth Practice Incentives Program (ePIP).
Practices intending to apply for ePIP payments from February 2013 can check the register to ensure their clinical software meets the requirements.
It is beginning to be populated, with Stat Health the first to appear on the register showing its conformance with the electronic transfer of prescriptions requirement.
Zedmed has also registered and is awaiting confirmation of its application, while HCN released a statement assuring its customers that "Medical Director/PracSoft will comply with all the software conformance requirements outlined by NEHTA by February 2013 ... [which] will enable them to claim the PIP eHealth incentive".
It is understood more products will be listed over the next few days.
NEHTA has also added five implementation overview brochures to its PIP webpage to guide practices through the process of qualifying for the ePIP.
To meet Requirement 1 – Integrating Healthcare Identifiers into Electronic Practice Records, the practice must apply to the Department of Human Services for a Healthcare Provider Identifier - Organisation (HPI-O) for the practice, and store the HPI-O in a compliant practice management and clinical software system.
Practices must also ensure that each GP within the practice has a Healthcare Provider Identifier - Individual (HPI-I), which is available from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), and it should be stored in a compliant practice management and clinical software system.
Practices must also use a compliant clinical software system to access, retrieve and store verified Individual Healthcare Identifiers (IHI) for presenting patients.
According to the explanatory notes, the intent of this requirement is to make Healthcare Identifiers available for secure message delivery and for use in the PCEHR.
Requirement 2 – Secure Messaging Capability, states that the practice must have a standards-compliant secure messaging capability to electronically transmit and receive clinical messages to and from other healthcare providers, use it where feasible, and have a written policy to encourage its use.
The qualifier that secure messaging be used “where feasible” refers to the fact that the major secure messaging vendors have not yet achieved interoperability. Three of those vendors have formed Secure Message eXchange (SMX) to ensure each service can communicate with the others, and it is understood this will be implemented over the next few months.
The practice is also required to have a written policy to encourage use of secure messaging, which states that it prefers to send messages electronically rather than by fax or letter.
Requirement 3 – Data Records and Clinical Coding, does not necessitate changes to software but will require GPs to use a recognised medical vocabulary, such as DOCLE, which is used in Medical Director, PYEFINCH, a proprietary list maintained by Best Practice, or ICPC-2 PLUS, which is used in the majority of the other general practice clinical software packages.
Practices must ensure that where clinically relevant, they are working towards recording the majority of diagnoses for active patients electronically using a medical vocabulary.
The vocabulary must be able to be mapped against a nationally recognised disease classification or terminology system such as ICPC2, ICD10-AM or SNOMED CT. NEHTA has chosen SNOMED CT as the preferred terminology but mapping most local codes to SNOMED is not expected to begin until next year. Frank Pyefinch, founder and CEO of Best Practice, said the Best Practice clinical coding system is 85 per cent mapped to SNOMED CT.
The aim of this requirement is to encourage practitioners to use systematic coding from a system's condition list rather than using free text.
Requirement 4 – Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions, states that practices must have an agreement with one of the prescription exchange services. Several clinical software vendors are now providing both eRx Script Exchange and MediSecure interface capability in their products.
ETP specifications developed by NEHTA are currently being considered by Standards Australia, so until full ETP capability is implemented, which will also include the ability to use electronic signatures, prescribers will still have to give patients a signed paper prescription. This must be generated by the clinical software and contain a barcode to enable the retrieval of prescriptions from the prescription exchange for dispensing.
Requirement 5 – Personally Controlled Electronic Health (eHealth) Record System, will need to be implemented by May 2013.
The practice must use compliant software for accessing the PCEHR and creating and posting shared health summaries. The majority of software vendors are near to completing the conformance certificates for this requirement, with Zedmed having achieved it last week.
Zedmed is also currently working on the specifications to create and upload event summaries. Practices will need to have this functionality installed within six months of it being available.
Practices must also apply to participate in the PCEHR system upon obtaining an HPI-O and sign a participation agreement.
Posted in Australian eHealth