DoHA releases PCEHR rules and regulations

The Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) has released a series of proposed provisions for the regulations and rules that will underpin the PCEHR.

The proposed regulations and rules specify arrangements for the advisory committees required by the legislation as well as definitions of who is eligible as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health practitioner to be a nominated healthcare provider.

There is a detailed series of proposals for regulations covering access controls to an individual's PCEHR, which will require healthcare providers to implement strict access and account management practices.

The proposed regulations will require healthcare organisations to provide training to staff before they become authorised users, to ensure the security of IT equipment from unauthorised access and to provide written policies and procedures that are reviewed regularly and are available to DoHA upon request.

In addition to basic access controls, consumers will be able to apply for an advanced access control mechanism that will give them the ability to set up and use a provider access consent code or PIN number and to remove healthcare providers from access to their PCEHR.

In terms of governance, the proposals suggest the establishment of two advisory bodies, one representing the states and territories and one an independent advisory council which will provide expert advice to the system operator.

It is proposed that this independent advisory council be required to consist of representatives from each of the following groups:

  • Consumers: the Consumers’ Health Forum of Australia and the Consumers’ Federation of Australia
  • Medical: the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the Australian Medical Association
  • Nursing and allied health: the Australian Nursing Federation and Royal College of Nursing Australia
  • Privacy: the Australian Information Commissioner, the Law Council of Australia and the Australian Privacy Foundation
  • Informaticians and vendors: the Australasian College of Health Informatics, the Health Informatics Society of Australia, the Australian Information Industry Association, the Medical Software Industry Association of Australia and the Aged Care IT Vendors Association
  • Administrators: the Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators
  • Indigenous health: the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
  • Rural and remote: the National Rural Health Alliance.

DoHA is inviting comments on the proposed regulations and rules, which are intended to enacted in the first half of this year, subject to the passage of the PCEHR bills through the Senate.

Submission can be made online or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Wednesday, April 11.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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