Workshop on the business of IT for general practice at HIC

Melbourne-based GP Nathan Pinskier will lead a workshop covering the business processes and costs of IT infrastructure in general practice at the Health Informatics Conference (HIC) next month.

The workshop is aimed at both new and existing practices and will provide a cost-benefit analysis of IT in general practice.

“It is really an opportunity to talk about the capital costs, the operational costs and the ongoing maintenance costs of delivering and supporting IT infrastructure in general practice,” Dr Pinskier said.

“To many providers, the cost of providing the service is quite significant. It's not just the national system but to meet all of the requirements around security, messaging, clinical software, clinical audits, practice administration, back-up – all of the functions required are a very significant undertaking.

“We are unaware that there has been any real attempt, certainly in general practice, to quantify those costs.”

Dr Pinskier said the workshop would include case studies and would challenge attendees to provide their own analysis on how a typical practice should operate and the associated costs.

Most practices these days must invest in IT as a matter of course, but cost is still a consideration, he said.

“A good example is back-up. Everybody should back up but very few organisations, other than very large mission-critical providers or companies, actually understand what back-up really means. How do I maintain uptime and how do I ensure data preservation?

“The answer to that is how long is a piece of string but we will be showing examples of how you can do it and what you need to think about. We will also do a little bit of work around benchmarking and providing some sort of cost-benefit analysis.”

The workshop will also look at understanding the cloud, the NBN and other considerations for GPs who are planning a digital practice.

The workshop will be held on Tuesday, August 12, the opening day of HIC. Other primary care events on the day include a session on eHealth implementations and one on the benefits of certification in eHealth, led by David Rowlands.

The Health Informatics Society of Australia's always popular Q&A panel, moderated by the ABC's Tony Jones, will be held in the afternoon session. It will feature Department of Health CIO Paul Madden, Telstra Health's Shane Solomon, the CIO of Healthscope, Paul Williams, and HISA board member Michael Gill.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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