AIIA calls for action on eHealth governing board

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has expressed its disappointment that the federal government has yet to release details on the structure of the proposed Australian Commission for eHealth (ACeH), which is due to be up and running by July 2016.

In its submission on the government's electronic health records and healthcare identifiers legislation discussion paper, the AIIA has also called on the government to ensure ACeH’s board and advisory committees have representatives from a wide range of backgrounds, including expertise in IT, innovation and informatics.

It has also recommended that one of the trials of opt-out models for the PCEHR look at a specific cohort of participants, such as people with disabilities, as well as geographical areas.

“A cohort-based approach poses some challenges, such as reliance on the cooperation of medical practitioners of cohort members, which means a smaller sample size than a geographical trial,” AIIA argues.

“However, AIIA understands that government already intends to conduct such a trial with the indigenous community in the Northern Territory. We support extending this approach to other cohorts and think it would provide more targeted insights into groups that may have unique needs.”

It also argues strongly that the government outline what its criteria for the success of the revamped system should be, and provides nine principles for success that it suggests the government follow.

“Ultimately, success of the new system will largely depend on the number of people using it based on the value it provides,” AIIA says.

The association says it supports the idea of the PCEHR, but has a number of concerns around the implementation of the initiative. It also calls for more detail on the qualifications and expertise of ACeH’s board and advisory committee members.

“AIIA is disappointed that the government has yet to release a terms of reference or a charter for the board,” it says. “Providing an opportunity for industry comments on these important documents must be a priority.”

It also recommends that the government work closely with Standards Australia in developing the system with particular emphasis on interoperability.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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