State-by-state overview of eHealth and telehealth at RMA 2014
The states and territories are each sending a representative to the Rural Medicine Australia (RMA 2014) conference in Sydney next week to provide an overview of eHealth and telehealth programs in the jurisdictions.
The whole of health sector panel includes the acting chief technical officer for Queensland's Health Information Services agency, Paul Carroll; the director of innovation, strategy and architecture with eHealth NSW, Michael Costello; and the NT's chief clinical information officer, Leonie Katekar.
It will be chaired by the immediate past president of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), Jeff Ayton, who will also deliver a presentation on behalf of the Tasmanian government.
The federal Department of Health's chief information and knowledge officer, Paul Madden, is expected to provide an update on the current status of the PCEHR following a series of consultation meetings the department has held over the last few months to gauge reaction to the Royle review into the system.
Mr Madden will be joined on another panel by the chairman and the CEO of the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), Steve Hambleton and Peter Fleming. The next release of the PCEHR is due in December.
All three have released videos inviting rural doctors to attend the conference. Mr Madden said he believes that rural doctors should be one of the the chief beneficiaries of any eHealth system.
“eHealth hasn't stood still,” he said. “We've had the personally controlled electronic health system in operation now since July 2012. There has been a good deal of use of that system [but] not as much as we would expect.
“I'll give you some insights on where we are headed from here, and probably get some feedback from you on how you believe we will be going forward with those plans.
“There is a lot of hype and a lot of silly messages out there about what the eHealth system is about. Things about usability – some of those are correct but we've actually done some good work to improve usability for clinicians and other healthcare providers. So we need to bring you up to speed with what that is.”
Dr Hambleton his decision to join NEHTA was “a great opportunity to be able to progress our eHealth agenda in Australia”.
“This is a unique position Australia finds itself in,” he said. “If you look internationally, there is no other country with a standard rail gauge that we've got on the table now.”
The eHealth stream will be held on Friday, October 31, kicking off with a telehealth session featuring Dr Ayton, ACRRM president Richard Murray and the CSIRO's Yogi Kanagasingam.
Rural GP Ewen McPhee will also provide a demonstration of using the PCEHR in action in rural general practice.
Rural Medicine Australia 2014, organised by ACRRM and the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), is being held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney from October 30 to November 1.
Posted in Australian eHealth