Regional NSW boosts public hospital PCEHR numbers

Three hundred and ninety-nine public hospitals are now linked to the PCEHR, with recent additions in western, northern, coastal and southern NSW local health districts looking to have boosted numbers.

Peter Fleming, CEO of the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), told a Senate Estimates hearing in Canberra today contracts had also been signed with seven private hospital providers to link them to the system.

Mr Fleming said the public hospitals signed up includes 152 in NSW, 219 in Queensland, eight in South Australia, Canberra Hospital, all four in Tasmania and all five in the Northern Territory. The laggards are Victoria with eight facilities linked – Barwon Health's Geelong Hospital and Eastern Health's seven facilities, including Box Hill Hospital – and WA with two: Royal Perth and Fiona Stanley.

NEHTA's latest list shows that at least 50 hospitals in NSW have come online over the last few months, most from Western NSW, Southern NSW, Murrumbidgee, Northern NSW and the Central and Mid-North Coast LHDs. Northern Sydney has also linked up, as has the Royal Prince Alfred.

NEHTA will not reveal the names of the private hospital operators who have agreed to contracts until negotiations with one group are finalised. The organisation offered a funding pool of $500,000 last year to private hospital operators to assist them with some of the technical requirements of connecting to the HI Service and the PCEHR.

The Senate Estimates committee also heard that the Northern Territory is close to finalising the transition from its highly successful My eHealth Record (MeHR) to the national system.

Department of Health special advisor for eHealth, Paul Madden, said the territory was about 90 per cent of the way through the transition process, with more than 20,000 people of the MeHR's total of 56,000 now registered with the PCEHR. The remainder will be registered for a PCEHR on an opportunistic basis over the next six to nine months, Mr Madden said.

Primary care software packages used in the NT allow healthcare providers to access both the MeHR and the PCEHR, but after a period of time all will be using the PCEHR and the MeHR will remain only as a historical record, he said.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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