NSW government promises extra $60m for eHealth
The NSW government has promised an extra $60m for health ICT over the next four years as part of its re-election platform.
The money is in addition to the $400 million the government announced it expected to spend over 10 years as part of its Blueprint for eHealth in NSW, published in December 2013.
The blueprint outlined plans to roll out a $170 million electronic medications management system to all public hospitals over 10 years – the main software contract for which was recently won by Cerner – as well as improvements to the Cerner electronic medical record including voice recognition capability, a new $100m community care and outpatients system called CHOC and the MetaVision system being planned for all ICUs.
It also includes the statewide roll-out of HealtheNet, which provides NSW Health clinicians with a consolidated view of a patient’s clinical information from across NSW Health sites as well as the PCEHR, and which is due to be rolled out to all Local Health Districts this month.
NSW Health clinicians are also able to access other clinical data held in several statewide repositories built over the last few years such as the enterprise image repository (EIR).
Funding has also been promised for upgrades to infrastructure such as the Health Wide Area Network (HWAN) that promises to improve telehealth provision.
There are also a number of corporate programs being managed by the new eHealth NSW agency, which was established in July last year, and the government has also invested $120m in its integrated care strategy, which aims to improve links between primary, community and acute care.
NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner said in a statement today that the government plans to spend $300 million over the next four-year term to keep existing programs rolling out.
She also announced some extra funding, including $48 million to roll out eHealth systems in rural and remote areas, $4m for an additional 100 telehealth sites – adding to the 1000 sites already in operation - $4.9m to complete the HealtheNet roll-out and $3.5m to enhance Hospital in the Home in rural areas to provide community nurses with laptops and mobile devices and in-home monitoring devices for patients.
Ms Skinner said the government also planned to develop a new eHealth strategic plan looking towards 2021 to provide a clear direction for future ICT investment and eHealth programs.
“To deliver an efficient, integrated health system, we must adopt the latest technologies,” she said.
“For patients this means safer, higher quality, more efficient and better coordinated health care. For staff, this means greater productivity and contemporary resources.”
Posted in Australian eHealth