One year on: update on PCEHR facts and figures

Consumer registrations for the PCEHR reached 320,865 as of last week, with up to 8000 new registrations occurring each day, figures from the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) show.

The department had hoped that registrations would reach 500,000 by June 30, but it seems that at the current rate, a total of 400,000 is more likely, one year on from the launch of the system.

The figures also show that there are 4022 healthcare organisations registered in the PCEHR system, along with 4684 individual providers (HPI-Is) for whom authorisation links have been established with one or more of these organisations.

That 4684 does not represent the total number of healthcare practitioners able to use the system, however, as the majority can do so through their clinical software.

A DoHA spokesperson said only healthcare provider organisations need to register to participate in the PCEHR, not the individual healthcare providers.

“Once a provider organisation, such as a GP surgery or hospital, registers with the eHealth record system, individual healthcare professionals are authorised to access the system on behalf of that organisation through their clinical system,” the spokesperson said.

Those who have been given authorisation links are clinicians that are accessing the system through the provider portal rather than directly through clinical software, the spokesperson said.

“The healthcare professionals who want to access the system through the PCEHR Provider Portal need to be linked to their organisation. Most professionals will use clinical systems, which is why the number of linked HPI-Is is low compared to provider registrations.”

Individual clinicians who can access the system through their clinical software are listed in the Healthcare Provider Directory (HPD), managed by the Department of Human Services (DHS).

A DHS spokesperson said that as of June 12, 12,598 individual healthcare providers and healthcare provider organisations were listed in the HPD.

The number of software vendors that have completed the necessary notice of connection and conformance, compliance and accreditation (CCA) processes and can access the production PCEHR system has also grown.

According to DoHA, there are now 26 vendors with authorisation, including 14 that market clinical information systems used by GPs. These are listed on NEHTA's ePIP product register.

There are also two pharmacy software vendors that can use the system – Fred IT and Simple Retail – and four aged care vendors.

A NEHTA spokesperson said iCareHealth, Leecare, DCA and EOS Technologies have passed NOC and CCA for read-only access to the PCEHR, while iCareHealth, Leecare and DCA have also done so for read and write access to the PCEHR.

EOS Technologies CEO Allan Turner said the company was in the process of certifying for CCA, which he hoped to have booked soon.

DoHA said six vendors that market systems used in a hospital setting have also passed their NOC and CCA. Pulse+IT is awaiting more information on which vendors are included in this group.

Close to 2000 shared health summaries have been uploaded to the PCEHR, along with approximately 450 discharge summaries.

Posted in Australian eHealth


0 # A/prof Terry Hannan 2013-06-25 10:54
I would like to reiterate my previously expressed views from direct observations in the foyer of my regional hospital and staff "straw polls". Form the straw polls there is 0% knowledge of the PCEHR! Today I again observed the registration of a patient with 5 children with age ranges from under to over 18 years during which the registrant had no idea what he was signing up for. The forms were being filled by the registering staff on paper with only one adult present (the father) whose educational level required more than "minimal guidance". It is obvious that these members of the community have no idea of what they are registering for and are very unlikely to have e-communication s available on a daily basis. Despite what was recently stated in the Senate Estimates Committee this local institution will NOT have ALL patients having their PCEHR being sent by the end of June.
0 # Dr Tim Berlyn 2013-06-25 11:50
320 865 registrations. Only 2000 shared health summaries (
0 # Dr Sarah Ahmed 2013-06-26 14:06
getting numbers registered was never going to be the big issue: getting meaningful use of the system for those registered was, and still is.
0 # Dr Tim Berlyn 2013-06-26 15:21
320 865 registrations. Only 2000 shared health summaries - a dismal 0.6% of total registrations. Only 450 discharge summaries - a dismal 0.14% of total registrations. Does this indicate an astonishingly low use of the PCEHR? Are there any other more 'favourable' metrics out there? Is this acceptable? Was this anticipated? A significant cause for concern which will need to be addressed. 320 865 registrations is NO cause for celebration if use is less than 0.6%.
0 # Mark McCartney 2013-06-26 16:38
They have commissioned something which does not appear to be working. Maybe worthwhile stopping to reconsider if anything better might be available, at a cheaper cost too?
0 # A/Prof Terry Hannan 2013-06-26 17:25
Mark, the question you ask is correct but only one of which should be asked. Here are the criteria formulated from a SUCCESSFUL international e-Health implementation. Implementation will always INCREMENTAL (not a feature of the PCEHR) and look at the last criterium.
• CLINICALLY USEFUL: feedback to providers and caregivers is critical. If the system is NOT CLINICALLY USEFUL it will not be used.
0 # Brett Dean 2013-06-28 16:54
$1 billion wasted on a complex system that is not user friendly and must have been designed by people who never use the internet - great potential but poorly thought through
0 # Jon Fox MD 2013-06-29 02:33
Why not develop a free cloud-based mobile app that meets Prof Hannon's criteria (#6 above)? For example, check out .
0 # A/Prof Terry Hannan 2013-06-29 22:11
Jon, the following may be of interest to you to expand these concepts further. Terry
1. Braitstein, P., et al., "Talkin' about a revolution": How electronic health records can facilitate the scale-up of HIV care and treatment and catalyze primary care in resource-constr ained settings. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr, 2009. 52 Suppl 1: p. S54-7.
2. AMPATH Medical Record System (AMRS): Collaborating Toward An EMR for Developing Countries Burke W. Mamlin, M.D. and Paul G. Biondich, M.D., M.S. Regenstrief Institute, Inc. and Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 2005 JAMIA 2010 17: 237-244
3.Martin C Were, Nneka Emenyonu, Marion Achieng, et al. Evaluating a scalable model for implementing
settings electronic health records in resource-limite d
0 # Mark McCartney 2013-06-30 14:35
The concept is wrong. We need a record that is only made when needed. With proper access controls etc the data could be extracted live from the various record sources to create a one off record that was up to date and useable, without the risks of huge data storage silos

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