AMA Vic calls for improved messaging, meds monitoring

The Victorian branch of the Australian Medical Association has called on the state government to stump up $50 million over three years to improve secure messaging between hospitals and general practices.

In a submission in advance of the May 5 state budget, the AMA has also repeated its long-standing call for funding to roll out the Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs (ERRCD) prescription drug monitoring system, requesting $15 million over three years.

In its submission, the AMA says Victoria’s health IT infrastructure is unsatisfactory and jeopardises patient care. It says an improved interface between the two sectors can only be achieved with secure messaging.

“Steady recurrent funding would address several key issues including the lack of functional up-to- date computers and the lack of standardised software between hospital networks,” it says.

“The greatest opportunity for immediate gain in this regard is improving secure messaging delivery. Clinical handover is core to best practice and there needs to be better communication between hospitals and GPs/community based settings.”

The AMA is asking for $50m in total, starting with $10 million this year and $20 million each year for the following two years.

It is also looking for $15 million to set up ERRCD to help combat doctor shopping.

AMA Victoria has been lobbying for the introduction of a real-time prescription monitoring system for a number of years and has backed calls from various Victorian coroners who have also recommended a real-time system.

In its submission, the AMA points out that more people died from prescription drug overdoses in Victoria in 2012 than on the state's roads.

“Similar to the DORA system in Tasmania, the Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs system will collect and report dispensing data relating to controlled drugs, providing a single source of data for doctors (prescribers), pharmacists (dispensers) and the health department to identify problems of forgery, dependency, misuse, abuse and 'doctor shopping',” the submission says.

“Laws in Victoria must also be changed to permit prescribers and pharmacists to access this data.”

It also wants the government to consider setting up a central register to record medical enduring power of attorney and advance care plans and directives.

It is hoping for $1.25 million to amend the Victorian Medical Treatment Act 1988, giving statutory recognition to advance care directives, along with associated education for patients, doctors and health services.

Posted in Australian eHealth


0 # Phil 2015-04-23 22:08
Unfortunately and very sadly, this is a true indictment on the Victorian government and the public health sector. Apart from a very small few, including Bendigo Health, sharing of something as basic as a discharge summary in an electronic form is but a distant dream for most hospitals and GPs.

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